Wolfgang Beltracchi exhibition at Tonhalle Zurich Switzerland The Greats by Salvator Mundi

"The Greats – Salvator Mundi"

20 November, 2021 | Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland

On the occasion of "UNVERFÄLSCHT SZENISCHE LESUNG", Wolfgang Beltracchi exhibited at the Tonhalle in Zürich selection of his paintings from his latest series "The Greats – Salvator Mundi".

Based on the original Salvator Mundi, Beltracchi created original physical works in the style of each of the artists above on canvas. We call these original physical works the Masterpieces. Next, Wolfgang Beltracchi created digital variations of each Masterpiece in order to accompany the whole NFT collection of 2,608 pieces. The process for creating digital variation varies from style-to-style. 

The Salvator Mundi is a depiction of Jesus Christ. “The Greats” introduced the collection of Christ depictions to the NFT community. A historically significant art piece, like the Salvator Mundi, needed an equally significant introduction to market. How digital art and the NFT market will evolve remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: “The Greats” by Wolfgang Beltracchi will always be one of the very first fine art NFTs that ever existed and thus cements its position in the digital art history of NFTs.

"There are two kinds of forgers: those who more or less skillfully copy great masters, and Wolfgang Beltracchi."  (Vanity Fair France)

When Stefan Gubser first met the couple Helene and Wolfgang Beltracchi in 2017 and felt their unique and deep connection, he was immediately fascinated by their story. The ingenious artist and forger couple not only successfully deceived and swindled the entire art world for years, but grew even more intimately connected in love after the exposure of this feat and the subsequent years of imprisonment.

They are extraordinary in every way – starting with the "genetic defect" that enables Wolfgang Beltracchi to immerse himself in the time period and style of any given artist, to their first encounter, mutual unconditional commitment, deceiving and exposing a self-satisfied art market, their dramatic arrest and subsequent imprisonment, to their re-emergence into the art world as artists under their own names.

The well-known actors Regula Grauwiller and Stefan Gubser will now bring this unique couple to life in a special homage. With the full support of the Beltracchi couple, they will craft an exciting evening of stories and letters from the autobiographical books "Self-Portrait" and "Enclosure with Angels" – written by the Beltracchis during their imprisonment, a stone's throw away from each other but without seeing each other.

Duration of the production: approx. 75 minutes
Reading: Regula Grauwiller and  Stefan Gubser
Dramaturgy: Domenico Blass
Direction: Michael Steiner
In collaboration with the Efficiency Club Zurich