Most Expensive Painting: Salvator Mundi
Leonardo da Vinci is also responsible for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction … well, perhaps. Salvator Mundi, which depicts Jesus Christ holding a crystal orb, sold in 1958 for just £45 ($54.80 US dollars). After art speculators Robert Simon and Alexander Parrish bought it in 2005, though, they helped kickstart a critical reevaluation of the piece that eventually convinced many experts that the piece was an original painting from Leonardo da Vinci.
Though there were of course skeptics to the work’s validity, but in the end, their doubts proved no match for a more believing set of experts and the excesses of the art market: The piece sold in 2017 for $450 million, including buyer’s premium. Somewhere in the afterlife Da Vinci just dropped a metaphorical mic.