This week, he will find out if he is right. Much talked about so far have been the auctions lots that were not offered, and the superstar--a Jesus Christ painting by Leonardo da Vinci--in the Wednesday evening sale at Christie's.
Mr Rybolovlev, who spent US$2.1 billion on 37 masterpieces purchased through Mr Bouvier over a decade, accuses the latter of overcharging him.
Bouvier bought the Da Vinci at Sotheby's for $80 million in 2013. "The opportunity to bring this masterpiece to the market is an honor that comes around once in a lifetime", said Loic Gouzer the Chairman of Post War and Contemporary Art at Christie's in NY. He resold it within days to the tycoon for US$127.5 million, netting a US$47.5 million profit. It emerged only in 2005 when it was purchased from a U.S. estate. As Droga5 puts it in a statement, "As the people looked on, Leonardo da Vinci looked back, painting a picture of the overwhelming emotion that this painting, its beauty and its divine subject matter stirred in all who came to see it".
Christie's has sought to emphasize Da Vinci's inestimable contribution to art history by hanging "Salvator Mundi" next to Andy Warhol's "Sixty Last Suppers" - which depicts Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" 60 times over, also on sale with a $50 million estimate.
For this short film created for Christie's, Droga5 worked with photographer Nadav Kander to place a hidden camera beneath the "Salvator Mundi"-aka "The Last da Vinci"-while it was on display in the auction house's NY gallery space". His "The Women of Algiers (Version O)" fetched $179.4 million at Christie's in NY in 2015.
Sotheby's said it has more than 60 works making their auction debuts this week.
Chief among them is Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of George Dyer", valued at $35-45 million, and which it says is appearing in public for the first time in 50 years.
Two other such triptychs are in museums, while an additional two have been offered at auction in recent years. It has been given an estimate of $30-40 million.
And for the first time, the house has added a rare automobile to an art auction, offering Michael Schumacher's Grand Prix-Winning Ferrari for upwards of $4 million on Thursday. "But it's... the very best racing auto ever sold at an auction".