The rediscovered early work is one of the attractions of the first NFT collection of the Leopold Museum in Vienna, which will include a total of 24 works by Schiele. “The Schiele painting ‘Leopold Czihaczek at the Piano’, created in 1907 and previously believed to have been lost, has been preserved in private ownership in extremely good condition,” said Hans-Peter Wipplinger, director of the Leopold Museum, in a broadcast d Thursday.
A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a protected file based on blockchain technology. The unique token is linked to the work and secured by the blockchain. As a buyer of this art, you own the certificate of authenticity of a file and hence its original.
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Painted like a 16-year-old uncle
Leopold Czihaczek, Ministerialrat and Senior Inspector of the Kaiser Ferdinands-Nordbahn of the Imperial and Royal Austrian State Railways, was uncle and, after the early death of Egon’s father Adolf Schiele, the guardian of the young artist. Egon Schiele painted the painting, which is known only from preliminary studies and from a black-and-white photograph of a room, shortly before his 17th birthday. The picture is in the original frame. The owners have agreed to make the painting available to the Leopold Museum on permanent loan, the broadcast continues.
“After the cleaning and restoration, we want to make the painting available to the public in the permanent presentation in Vienna 1900.” The work will also be “geminted” as an NFT, ie. made into a token – as a “bonus highlight for those working as we for the upcoming NFT launch of Schiele works from the Leopold collection.
Revenue for purchase and restoration
Like 23 other works by Egon Schiele, the rediscovered painting will be offered as an NFT between 16 and 26 May. To this end, the Leopold Museum entered into a collaboration with the NFT platform LaCollection and Österreichische Post AG. The NFT proceeds should not only fund the restoration, but ideally also enable the purchase of the Czihaczek portrait, “says Wipplinger.
The pandemic has led to a “rapid acceleration of digitization processes in the art world and made NFTs an integral part of many established, traditional art collections,” the museum director explained. “NFTs of Schiele’s works of art not only enable us to permanently preserve the museum’s treasures in the digital world, but also to get in touch with people we have not been able to reach with our museum in Vienna before. . “
Of the Austrian museums, for example, Belvedere jumped on the NFT train and shattered Klimt’s painting “The Kiss” into a total of 10,000 individual NFT parts. Blockchain technologies are controversial due to their high energy consumption, among other things. The Leopold Museum assures that “with every NFT purchase, trees are planted with the help of the green technology company EcoTree, which offsets the CO2 that the NFT generation produces”.
Museum always holds an NFT “twin”
The limited, unique digital twins of the Schiele works selected by the Leopold Museum are divided into three categories according to the number of copies: From “Ultra Rare” (“Dead Mother I”, 1910, “Self-portrait with lantern fruits”, 1912, and “Portrait of Wally Neuzil “, 1912) only two NFT originals will be published and auctioned with a starting price of 100,000 euros. The ten “Super Rare” from a total of nine works will be called out and auctioned off for 15,000 euros. “Rares” can be purchased in a time-limited open edition of up to 100 pieces per. work for 499 euros each.
An NFT of each work of art remains in the possession of the Leopold Museum. The profits will go exclusively to the restoration, conservation and purchase of works of art. The rediscovered painting can be purchased as “Special Rare” for 999 euros – even before it has been cleaned and restored in its original form and displayed permanently in the museum.