The world's most expensive painting, lost for centuries, was handed down through a Louisiana family who had no idea that a genuine Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece was hanging in its home.

The journey into obscurity and the miraculous recovery of da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi,"which depicts Jesus holding a clear orb and raising his right hand in blessing, was detailed by The Wall Street Journal in a report published this week.

The artwork, which was recently bought by Saudi Arabia's crown prince for $450 million, was previously sold to a pair of art dealers in a 2005 estate sale in New Orleans after its owner, Basil Clovis Hendry Sr., of Baton Rouge, died, according to the report. Hendry had inherited the painting in 1987 from his aunt, Minnie Stanfill Kuntz.

Kuntz and her husband, Warren E. Kuntz, managed a furniture business in New Orleans and often traveled to Europe to buy art and antiques. The couple purchased the da Vinci, then incorrectly characterized as being by a student of the famous painter, in the summer of 1958 from the estate of Sir Francis Cook, according to The Wall Street Journal's report.

Hendry's daughter, Susan Hendry Tureau told the publication that the entire situation is still "hard to absorb."

“In my little humdrum retirement life you know, to have something this major happen," the retired Baton Rouge library technician said, "it’s so exciting.”

Hendry, originally from Amite, was living in Baton Rouge before his death, according to his obituary. He was the director of the men's choir at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church for more than 40 years and also a member of the St. George Catholic Church.

“Salvator Mundi” disappeared from 1763 until 1900, when it became part of a private collection. In 1958, it was consigned to an auction and sold for 45 pounds, and it didn’t re-emerge until 2005, when it was purchased in Louisiana.

It was not authenticated as a work by Leonardo until 2011; two years later, the group led by Simon sold it to the Swiss businessman, Yves Bouvier.

Bouvier bought it for $80 million and immediately sold it to Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million, sparking a legal battle between the two men that grew to involve Sotheby’s and the previous sellers, who claimed they were shortchanged.

For the full report from The Wall Street Journal, click here