christie's-leonardocrystalballChristie’s in New York is planning to sell a supposedly rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) painting titled, “Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World).

One can’t help but wonder about the crystal ball held by the supposed Jesus — with its see-through rather than refracted qualities. Plus the fact that crystal balls, long associated with fortune-tellers and the occult, were/are viewed by the Church as heretical objects. For Jesus to be depicted holding a crystal ball (even with da Vinci’s connection to science) seems to be a joke or worse a kind of sneer. Plus his chest looks like that of a woman — not what you would expect from a sincere artist, who mastered human anatomy, trying to imitate Christ.

Henry Thomas, a da Vinci biographer, wrote in 1940: “Leonardo was not a member of the Church. But he was a follower of Jesus. He showed this not only in his exquisitely sympathetic drawing of Christ’s face (referring to other works) but in the equally sympathetic understanding of Christ’s thought.”