RNZ's Kim Hill talks to the art restorer Dianne Modestini, who features in The Lost Leonardo - now playing at Light House Cinema!
The ‘Salvator Mundi’ is the first Leonardo da Vinci painting to be discovered for over a century, though some question whether it is in fact by the painter. In 2017 the painting, which has been dubbed ‘the male Mona Lisa’, was auctioned by Christie's fetching a world record price of US$450 million. A Saudi Arabian prince made the purchase but the painting’s current location is now unknown.
Dianne Modestini is a world-renowned restorer, conservator, and expert on historical paintings who had the painting brought to her for restoration in 2005. It sat in her New York apartment for five years while she painstakingly worked on it following the death of her husband, renowned Italian art restorer Mario Modestini. Tarnished by varnish and repaintings, when Modestini first started working on ‘Salvator Mundi’ she wasn’t convinced it was Da Vinci’s, but eventually she and other experts became convinced.
Listen to Kim Hill and Dianne Modestini's interview HERE