The revered Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and once sold for a record-breaking $450.3 million, is poised to step into the digital sphere. On August 12th, this iconic artwork, presently owned by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, will be immortalized as a non-fungible token (NFT).
A Masterpiece Enters the Digital Arena
Leading the transformative initiative is ElmonX, a prominent digital assets platform, in collaboration with global image licensing firm Bridgeman Images.
This partnership has previously transformed classics such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Rodin’s The Thinker, and Monet’s Nymphéas into NFTs, gaining substantial attention and financial engagement. For instance, an ElmonX artist-proof Mona Lisa was recently resold on the OpenSea NFT marketplace for 3.7 ETH, equivalent to $6,764.
Unveiling the World’s Costliest Artwork
The history of Salvator Mundi is intricate. In the past year, each significant milestone of the painting’s 500-year journey has been meticulously documented. Initially presented at Christie’s New York in 2017 with a price tag of over $100 million, the masterpiece was acquired by an undisclosed phone bidder, later revealed as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The current whereabouts of the artwork remain shrouded in mystery.
Notably, in 2021, author Ben Lewis fashioned an NFT depicting the Salvator Mundi clutching dollars, replacing the traditional crystal orb. As the digital and traditional art realms converge, it is evident that the narrative of art appreciation is undergoing a profound transformation.