McQueen.

Da Vinci

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A portrait of the world through the eyes of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi.

A portrait of the world through the eyes of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi.

In 2011, the Salvator Mundi, a lost Renaissance painting depicting Jesus Christ, was confirmed to be a genuine Leonardo da Vinci. Having belonged to several Royal European collections, it is one of fewer than 20 paintings by da Vinci and the only left in private hands. The next chapter saw this masterpiece offered in a special lot at Christie’s New York. But with attention, came scrutiny and Christie’s needed to rise above the noise. So we looked to make the sale a sensation, beginning with a name that implied urgency as we placed this private painting on public display for one last time and secretly captured the real-life reactions of all who came to see it.

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The world is watching.

The world is watching.

We began with a controversial worldwide tour. Staging viewings in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York. To turn all eyes to this special moment in history we looked to show just how breathtaking this masterpiece really is - by not showing it at all. Partnering with Nadav Kander, we placed a hidden camera beneath the work in a contemporary exhibit that hid both camera and lighting in plain sight. As each visitor looked on, The Last da Vinci now looked back. As we gave this portrait of Christ the power to share its own perspective with the world.

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Painted in a divine light, we gently captured the raw emotions and reactions of those who came to see the work. Crafting the overwhelming response into a single short film and sharing it with the world. The film was cut to a length of 4:14, a reference to the scripture from the Gospel of John that describes da Vinci’s characterization of Christ in the portrait.

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The film became an ode to the Salvator Mundi, a divine moment captured between the painting and the people, encouraging thousands more to catch a final glimpse of The Last da Vinci before it disappeared from the public eye forever.

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Following Christ.

Following Christ.

As queues grew and grew, we posted each and every portrait on a dedicated Instagram account, @thelastdavinci, as people followed Christ to see themselves. Each portrait was captioned with the name and time of visit, a format reminiscent of biblical scripture citation, as we created a feed of reverence.

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Real visitors had now become the centerpiece of our campaign and their responses our voice. The campaign created a media sensation, as regular faces, attracted famous faces and new bidders began to stir. Never had something like this been done in support of the sale of a single artwork.

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$450.3 million. A new record for a work of art.

$450.3 million. A new record for a work of art.

On November 15th, our efforts culminated in a record breaking result, as the painting sold for $450.3 million at auction. What started as a sale quickly became a discussion on the importance of art and culture, divinity and worth. As we reminded people that although prospective buyers live more rarefied lives, they are still deeply influenced by the rest of us. And the auction house set a new bar for how to create mass attention and drive desirability amongst a few.

The final resting place of the Salvator Mundi? The Louvre, Abu Dhabi by way of a Saudi Prince. Where the world can continue to watch and a fitting home for the new counterpart to Leonardo’s most famous work, Mona Lisa.

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The world is watching.

The world is watching.

We began with a controversial worldwide tour. Staging viewings in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York. To turn all eyes to this special moment in history we looked to show just how breathtaking this masterpiece really is - by not showing it at all. Partnering with Nadav Kander, we placed a hidden camera beneath the work in a contemporary exhibit that hid both camera and lighting in plain sight.

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—

Real visitors had now become the centerpiece of our campaign and their responses our voice. The campaign created a media sensation, as regular faces, attracted famous faces and new bidders began to stir. Never had something like this been done in support of the sale of a single artwork.

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—

The film became an ode to the Salvator Mundi, a divine moment captured between the painting and the people, encouraging thousands more to catch a final glimpse of The Last da Vinci before it disappeared from the public eye forever.

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TheLastDaVinci_BreakOut_Image_Lourve01.jpg
Following Christ.

Following Christ.

As queues grew and grew, we posted each and every portrait on a dedicated Instagram account, @thelastdavinci, as people followed Christ to see themselves. Each portrait was captioned with the name and time of visit, a format reminiscent of biblical scripture citation, as we created a feed of reverence.

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