Those three white dots on the orb. I smiled.
Let’s look at the provenance problems.
- The orb’s optics are incorrect. Either way (another painter didn’t execute the optics, or Leonardo wanted to express His magic), forget it, for now. Except for the three dots.
- The lack of torsion. Forget it. The torsion’s all in His right hand.
- The uncertain provenance. Forget it. Look at Wenceslaus Hollar’s reproduction.
- The restoration(s). The single point of light works on His hand but is absolutely awful under His face. But if we look at Wenceslaus Hollar’s reproduction, we can see His beard’s gone missing.
This Salvator Mundi is of Leonardo’s hand because of those three little dots. If we join the three dots to draw lines across the painting and reflect them along the vertical axis, then we can see geometric theory Leonardo applied to ‘Vitruvian Man’. If we use Leonardo’s centre point to draw a circle, we can see it perfectly bounds the orb and a His brow.
What Leonardo is telling us is this; He was not a deity but a measurable man, but a man who nonetheless could perform as extraordinarily as a deity.
Those three white dots on the orb. He was an ‘extraordinary’ ‘man’. It’s there for you to see. I smiled.