Lost da Vinci Painting Found

We’ve seen stories like this before, yet it’s impressive still:

For years it sat on a farmhouse wall gathering dust.

And when Fiona McLaren redecorated, she didn’t even take the time to cover the apparently worthless painting in a protective sheet, so it got flicked in specks of paint.

However, in an astounding twist it has emerged that the picture is likely to have been the work of master artist Leonardo da Vinci and worth over £100million.

Can you imagine a da Vinci was just in your possession and you didn’t even bother to protect it before painting a room? It’s amazing how artifacts get lost and then rediscovered in time. Sobering to think how many were likely thrown out because their owners didn’t even realize what they had.

Accuracy Of Leonardo da Vinci

The BBC has an interesting article on the accuracy of da Vinci’s work:

According to Peter Abrahams, professor of clinical anatomy at Warwick University in the UK, Leonardo’s image is as accurate as anything that can be produced by scientific artists working today.

“If you actually know your anatomy, you can see all the tiny little holes that are in the skull,” says Prof Abrahams.

“Those are absolutely anatomically correct. Leonardo was a meticulous observer, and a meticulous experimental scientist. He drew what he saw, and he had the ability to draw what he saw absolutely perfectly.”

You can’t help but think what would have happened if da Vinci had been born later on and had access to the technology we have today. How much further his research would go if he had the aid of a computer and a more organized scientific community? Or would bureaucracy and politics have slowed him down?

da Vinci’s Battle of Anghiari Found?

Leonardo da Vinci's The Battle of Anghiari

Researchers think they may have found the missing Battle of Anghiari painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

As the story goes da Vinci was commissioned to paint a fresco on a wall of the Florence’s city hall. The experimental technique he used failed and he stopped. Others say it was completed, starting part of the mystery. Years later, Giorgio Vasari was ordered to renovate and paint a new fresco, “The Battle of Marciano”. What happened next is subject to debate. Some believe he painted right over da Vinci’s work. Others believe he built a new wall just a few centimeters in front of the old wall to preserve da Vinci’s work. Supporting this theory is research that found at one point “The Battle of Marciano” contained a tiny green flag containing the phrase “Cerca, trova — seek and you shall find”. Perhaps a hint?

They have now went as far as inserting tiny cameras in a few holes in search of the original work. They found there was indeed an airgap as earlier x-rays indicated. They also found materials that da Vinci was known to use in paint.

Of course an existing work would likely need to be destroyed to expose this hidden work, unless new techniques were created to remove the newer wall, extract da Vinci’s work and replace the newer wall.

File this one under “amazing”.