For five centuries, it has been one of the art world’s greatest mysteries, with even its very existence in doubt.
But now, almost 500 years after he painted it, a priceless Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece has been unearthed in a Swiss bank vault.
The painting is a canvas and oil, finished rendering of a well-known pencil sketch of the same woman, the wife of the Marquess of Mantua and one of Renaissance Italy’s most influential women. The sketch, which was drawn in 1499, hangs in the Louvre, and is considered a forerunner to his most famous painting, the Mona Lisa.Posted by Jill Fallon at October 5, 2013 3:27 PM | Permalink
Isabella, who appears to share the world-famous subject's mysterious smile and rounded chin, wanted to be painted by the all the greatest artists of the day, which naturally included da Vinci.
Professor Carlo Pedretti of the University of California, Los Angeles, the world’s leading expert in da Vinci told Italy’s Corriere della sera newspaper. 'There are no doubts that the portrait is the work of Leonardo.
'I can immediately recognise Da Vinci’s handiwork, particularly in the woman’s face.'