“Salvato Mundi, The Santel Version”

Inspiration & Technique

18 x 24
Encaustic on panel

There are two possible paintings that Leonardo Da Vinci may have done of Salvator Mundi. Two versions; “The Ganay” and “ The Cook.” In November 2018, they authenticated “The Cook” version, and it sold for $450 million. I watched videos on the countless theories and read about why one was the real Leonardo over the other… I decided to make my own version of “ Salvator Mundi” out of wax.

I used elements from both versions and even added my own and some hidden messages. I thought the Cook version was obviously redone so many times that the restored version was far from what it once was. I liked the Omega fold from The Ganay version but I liked the coloring of the Cook version.

Below is a list of both versions and what some art historians believe to be evidence that The Cook version is not a Leonardo and also some evidence that it is. Either way here is my version made out of wax:
“Salvator Mundi, The Santel Version”


  • Pentimento (small changes) was found on The Cook version on the thumb
  • The omega fold in The Ganay version and was in Leonardo’s sketchbook
  • On The Cook version sides of nostrils don’t line up with corners
  • On The Cook version the eye on left was higher; The Ganay was opposite
  • On The Cook version, the mouth doesn’t line up
  • Could they have been done with the same drawing cartooned to transfer drawing?
    • Leonardo was known to use transfers or cartoons
  • The Ganay is bigger and showed knuckles
  • The Cook version is smaller and chopped off
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