And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-49 NLT)
Salvator Art Mundi
Leonardo da Vinci’s name associated with the painting Salvator Mundi produced a record price of $450 million at auction last week. One wag suggested that it should be called “Saviour of the Art World” because the profit is enormous despite its questioned provenance and condition.
The painting may have some Leonardo work, it may be his “school” that produced it, the frame is damaged, the canvas has been painted over, repaired, cleaned and restored – but other than that it has no problems. Yet someone paid more for it than anyone thinks is reasonable –except the purchaser.
The auction was heavily marketed, appealing to the baser instincts of potential buyers- it was its rarity, not its beauty that generated the cash bonanza. The ultimate irony is the subject of the painting is Jesus – the one whose story has been treated very much like the canvas.
The accretions of generations of religious construct have distanced our connection to him. The painting is beautiful, the subject is powerful and perhaps it opens a door for us to see Jesus holding the world in his redemptive hands.
A Prayer for Today
Loving Father, you took the ultimate risk with us as human beings – you made yourself vulnerable to our predilections toward both good and evil. After all the marketing, debate and distance from the life of your Son with us – we need help in discovering the beauty and power of his redemptive and reconciling life, death and resurrection. Let us see Jesus as Salvator Mundi …. for Jesus’ sake