In 2005 the artworld buzzed with the news of a monumental discovery. The only known painting by Benvenuto Cellini, a 16th century Italian Renaissance man who equaled Leonardo da Vinci, was found in a private collection.
Since then, the owner undertook a colossal task to secure, research and evaluate this artwork. A process, that took several years and over €200 thousand of his own money. It involved many experts and organizations, such as the Tamoikin Art Fund (TAF), which has now been appointed as a custodian of Cellini’s self-portrait.
After completing a thorough investigation, the fund was able to determine the value of this rare historic artwork. Cellini’s self-portrait is worth €107 million. Now TAF is preparing an international campaign to present this world heritage artifact.
Who is Cellini? To understand this great man, we must look at his life and work. Benvenuto Cellini (1500 – 1571) was born in Florence, Italy. Over the course of his life he became a renowned and highly paid writer, painter, sculptor, musician, goldsmith, inventor and soldier. His magnificent bronze sculptures decorate prominent streets of Italy.
- Rolex has a line of watches named after Cellini.
- Ian Fleming often mentioned Cellini in his James Bond novels.
- Salvador Dalí was also highly influenced by the life of Cellini.
Undoubtedly Benvenuto Cellini was a polymath with extraordinary abilities and a great visionary that changed the course of history. The discovery and public presentation of the only known painting by Cellini is an international cultural phenomenon.
What is known about the portrait? It is a medium size artwork (61 x 48 cm), painted in the 16th century with oil on a unique silk-wool paper that is glued on a canvas. It is the most accurate depiction of Cellini to date. The portrait is privately owned by an art collector. Despite hundreds of years, this painting has survived in exceptionally good condition and with virtually no restoration. In contrast, the recently sold Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” painting, for $450 million, received ‘extensive restoration’ after it was ‘aggressively cleaned and over-painted’. Finding an artwork of such significance in good condition is extremely rare.
Tamoikin Art Fund, known for record-breaking art sales is committing significant resources to present this culturally important artifact to the entire world.