‘The Kiss’ by Gustav Klimt on sale as NFTs for Valentine’s Day
Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’, or ‘The Lovers’, is considered an icon of European Modernist art
The Belvedere Museum in Vienna announced on Wednesday its sale of NFTs of ‘The Kiss’ by Gustav Klimt to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The Austrian museum said a high-resolution digital copy of one of the world’s most famous artworks will be divided into a 100 x 100 grid, resulting in 10,000 individual pieces that will be offered as NFTs.
The 10,000 segments will be allocated randomly and can be purchased at an estimated retail price of around €1,850 (around $2,086 or $1,544 at the current rate) each. Owners are then able to resell them on the secondary market or any NFT platform if they wish.
“The very small number of shares for the world market and the fact that each piece is unique is what makes these tokens so valuable,” said Wolfgang Bergmann, MD of the Belvedere.
Personal love dedications
Owners of Klimt’s artwork NFT particles can also add an individual dedication of love to the NFT via thekiss.art. Starting from 14 February, the dedications can be seen on the platform.
The Belvedere Museum said a whitelisting phase will begin on 26 January at 00.00 am (CET) and interested parties can register to purchase on the thekiss.art platform.
“On 9 February, those willing to buy will receive authorization to purchase minted NFTs of a piece of the digital Kiss. The drop, or official release of the NFTs, will take place by Valentine’s Day, 14 February. The issued NFT certificates will then show exactly which digital part of the painting was purchased,” the museum added.
A team of art law experts at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz and attorney Klaus Pateter, who specialises in blockchain and tokenisation, are advising the Belvedere in all legal matters associated with the project. Unzer is the payment processing partner.
Completed in 1909 and considered an icon of the Art Nouveau and European Modernist styles of art, Gustav Klimt’s most well-known work, ‘The Kiss’ (or ’The Lovers’), attracts thousands of visitors to Vienna’s Belvedere Museum every year.
The Austrian State bought the oil-on-canvas painting with added gold leaf, silver and platinum, when it was first presented, in 1908, for the recently founded Modern Gallery in the Lower Belvedere. Since then, the painting has remained in the museum’s collection.
“With this work at the height of his ‘Golden Period’, Austrian painter Gustav Klimt created a universal allegorical statement about love as a central theme of human existence. The couple in The Kiss appear intimately entangled, oblivious to their surroundings and lost in their embrace,” said the gallery curators.
In 2017 US TV personality Oprah Winfrey sold the Gustav Klimt work, ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II’ (1912), for a whopping $150m.