In an effort to raise funds, Florence’s Uffizi Gallery turns one of its Michelangelo paintings into a digital artwork. First painted around 1505, the work of art, entitled ‘Doni Tondo,’ depicts the holy family in vivid color and is enclosed within an ornate, circular frame. The work marks the first that the Uffizi Gallery intends to digitize and sell, an undertaking that is beginning strong — the Michelangelo has just been sold. The effort marks a partnership with Cinello, an Italian company that has developed a method to transform art into digital serigraphs, part of the DAW (Digital Art Work) category, in their original dimensions.

uffizi gallery michelangelo NFT
michelangelo’s doni tondo (1505-06) | courtesy of the uffizi gallery



The Uffizi gallery authenticates its Michelangelo digital artwork with a certificate signed by the museum’s director, Eike Schmidt. As a certified Cinello-made Digital Art Work (DAW), the work is unique and theft-proof. The Art Newspaper notes that the number of annual visitors to the Uffizi Gallery fell from 4.4 million in 2019 to 1.2 million in 2020. The pandemic has seen creative solutions from all industries, and digital art has offered the art market a new opportunity to determine its own recovery. Director Eike Schmidt explains the goal of its digital artwork sales to Corriere Della Sera. ‘In the medium term, it will be able to contribute to the finances of a museum, comparable to the proceeds of the restaurant business. it is not a change of direction in terms of revenue, it is an additional revenue. but creating such a market is not a quick thing.’

the uffizi gallery sells michelangelo's doni tondo painting as digital artwork
Cinello founder and CEO Franco Losi (left) and Uffizi director Eike Schmidt



The Italian company Cinello would like to clarify and confirm that NO NFT was created in relation to the digitization of Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni owned by the Uffizi Galleries. Cinello exclusively sold a DAW® (Digital Artwork) edition of the artwork to a private collector, of which 50% of the net proceeds were sent to the Uffizi Gallery as part of their agreement, where the original work is housed.


A DAW® (Digital Artwork) is a worldwide patented technology that guarantees the uniqueness of the file. This technology does not involve the use of any Blockchain or other Web 3 applications. The digital editions produced by Cinello have also been mentioned as a virtuous example in the recent Ministerial circular about the digitization of Museum’s art collections and the creation of digital editions of an artwork.