The Mona Lisa, safeguarded in the Louvre in Paris, has been spoofed several times. The most popular of those specimens have to be the Hekking Mona Lisa, labeled after its earlier proprietor, the antiquarian Raymond Hekking (1886-1977). It’s set to go on sale at Christie’s auction house in Paris and is anticipated, at a heedful guess, to auction for approximately €200,000 to €300,000 (£170,00 to £260,000).
A European collector has purchased a 17th-century portrait of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa portrait for 2.9 million euros ($3.4 million), a record for a Mona Lisa replica, in an auction at Christie’s in Paris on Friday.
Known as the “Hekking Mona Lisa,” after its holder who unsuccessfully insisted that a specimen he had purchased in the 1950s was the genuine stuff, is one of many replicas of the original, which hangs in the Paris Louvre museum.
“This is insanity, this is an absolute record for a Mona Lisa reproduction,” a Christie’s spokeswoman said.
She said there were 14 bidders in a global auction and that in the last hour, the offers rose from 500,000 to 2.4 million euros before the last proposal of 2.9 million was made.
The Louvre original is not for the deal. But in 2017, Christie’s New York auctioned da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” for $450 million to anonymous telephone bidding, making it the most costly piece of masterpiece ever bought at auction.
This calculation will perhaps be surpassed. Prior deals of such 17th-century specimens of the Mona Lisa have brought as much as US$1,695,000 (£1,195,000), as one edition did in New York in March 2019. Another edition auctioned in Paris in November 2019 for €552,500 and the third rendition at Christie’s Paris in the very year for €162,500.
The 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death was commemorated in 2019 with various prestigious events, so arguably the demand for Leonardo portrayals was at a fever pitch. However, the Mona Lisa, either as an original or through its various specimens, means wealth at any moment.
None of Leonardo’s paintings is more preferable to the Mona Lisa, which became the topic of arguably the most popular of 20th-century art thefts. In August 1911, Louvre worker Vincenzo Perugia ransacked the Mona Lisa. The painting was missing for two years before its rescue in Florence and its eventual retrieval to the Louvre in 1913 after a successful excursion of Italian galleries.