NAPLES,ITALY - JANUARY 11: Napoli Opening Exhibition at Diocesan Museum of Donnaregina with "Salvator Mundi" by Leonardo Da Vinci from 12 January to 31 March. Other works of Leonardo's school in the exhibition, including: Christ Blessing of San Domenico Maggiore di Girolamo Alibrandi, Christ Child of Gian Giacomo Caprotti said Salaì. The inauguration was attended by Vincenzo De Luca Governor of the Campania Region, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe and Professor Carlo Pedretti author of the study that attributes the work to Leonardo Da Vinci on January 11, 2017 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

A Lost Leonardo Da Vinci Painting Was In Louisiana For Nearly 50 Years

The most expensive piece of art ever sold was in Baton Rouge for almost a half-century.

by Alex Galbraith | September 20, 2018

A Leonardo Da Vinci painting worth $450 million spent nearly 50 years in the care of a Louisiana family who had no idea what they owned.

That’s according to a story by the Wall Street Journal, who tracked the odd path of Da Vinci’s lost painting “Salvator Mundi” from the homes of kings to Baton Rouge and eventually to the auction block.

According to the story, the painting was purchased on a family trip to Europe in 1958 for £45 (~$120).

The painting changed hands within the family for nearly a half-century before it stopped with Basil Clovis Hendry Sr. He passed away in 2004 and the painting was sold for $10,000 during an estate sale in New Orleans. At the time, the estimates for the painting’s worth were as low as $700.

Hendry’s daughter, Susan Hendry Tureau, expressed shock over the fact that the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction was in their family’s possession.

“We can’t believe it, that such an incredible piece could have been in our family and we didn’t even know it all this time,” she said. “It just sort of brings me alive.”

Alex Galbraith

Alex Galbraith

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