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Wolfgang Beltracchi holding a print by Leonardeschi and Leonardo da Vinci, on grey cover of 'Wolfgang Beltracchi, The Return of Salvator Mundi', by Scheidegger & Spiess.

Wolfgang Beltracchi

The Return of Salvator Mundi

Edited by Alberto Venzago


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  • New, large-format book on the latest work of Wolfgang Beltracchi, painter and legendary art forger
  • Features previously unpublished photographs from Beltracchi’s studio by internationally renowned Swiss photographer Alberto Venzago
  • Documents Beltracchi’s extensive collection The Greats, parts of which are traded as digital non-fungible tokens (NFT)
  • With new original contributions by distinguished authors such as Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Peter Sloterdijk, Markus Gabriel, and others
Full Description

In recent years, painter and legendary art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi has opened a new chapter of his career. The core of his latest work is an extensive series of paintings, titled The Greats, that have been put on sale as digital artworks using NFT technology. Its starting point was the Salvator Mundi, a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and sold in 2017 in an auction at Christie’s in New York for $450m to an unknown buyer. Beltracchi studied the picture meticulously and created several hundred versions of the motif in a variety of styles, ranging from high renaissance to pop art, or depicting Jesus in the personification of Mick Jagger or Mao Zedong. The result is a fascinating game of deception with the disputed painting and its symbolism.

This large-format book combines photographic insights into Beltracchi’s everyday life in the studio by renowned Swiss photographer Alberto Venzago with a documentation of The Greats collection. Texts are contributed by Stanford University professor emeritus Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, German philosophers Peter Sloterdijk and Markus Gabriel, German journalist Ulrike Posche, German finance executive Leonhard Fischer, Swiss-based cryptocurrency and NFT expert Hansen Wang, Swiss art dealer Guido Persterer, and Alberto Venzago. A conversation between Beltracchi and Swiss writer and philosopher René Scheu rounds out this volume that describes and interprets the phenomenon of this extraordinary artist from a range of perspectives.

About the Author

Alberto Venzago is a Swiss photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker. He has been awarded numerous international prizes, such as the ICP Award, the United Nations Award, the New York Film Festival Award, the Spotlight Award, and others.

Scheidegger & Spiess
19th Jun 2023
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
320 mm x 240 mm
212 Pages
200 color, 44 b&w
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