In 2011, the Salvator Mundi, a Renaissance painting depicting Jesus Christ, was confirmed to be a genuine Leonardo da Vinci. Having belonged to several Royal European collections, it is one of fewer than 20 paintings by da Vinci in the world and the only example ever offered at auction. The masterpiece, which has been called a divine version of the Mona Lisa, was slated to headline the Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in November 2017.
In efforts to share not only the significance of the Salvator Mundi, but also give everyone the opportunity to experience this great moment in its history, Christie’s tapped Droga5 to make the sale of the Salvator Mundi a cultural phenomenon.
In an approach that honors the significance of this artwork, we gave the painting the power to share its own perspective with the world. We worked with world renowned portrait photographer, Nadav Kander, and set up a hidden camera beneath the painting in the galleries of Christie’s New York. During the final viewing, we captured film and still portraits of people’s real emotions as they were moved by the painting. The film was cut to the time length of 4:14, a reference to the scripture from the Gospel of John that describes da Vinci’s characterization of Christ in this painting. The still portraits of visitors to Christie’s are documented in a gallery on Instagram. Each portrait is captioned with the first name of the visitor and the time they made their visit, a format reminiscent of a biblical scripture citation.
On November 15, 2017, the painting was sold for $450.3 million.