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Lost Da Vinci

October 17, 2011 by staff 

Lost Da VinciLost Da Vinci, The auction house Christie could have sold an invaluable piece of art by Leonardo da Vinci for a little over 21,000 and, according to researchers who say they’ve identified the source of the painting of a heated debate.
The painting seems to have come from a book of 500 years old, containing the history of the family of the Duke of Milan. The art historian Martin Kemp, Oxford University, believes the painting mystery, which appeared in 1998, is a portrait of the duke’s daughter, created by da Vinci for his book of wedding. [See images of the portrait and the book]

“We knew it was a book, you have the stitch holes and you can see the knife cut. Finding it is a miracle in a way. I was surprised,” said Kemp told LiveScience. “In doing historical research than 500 years old, objects … that did not complete the circle in this way.”

In 2010, Kemp first to suggest that da Vinci painted a portrait, and since then, art historians have debated as to its origin and the painter. In fact, several art historians in touch with LiveScience, said he would not comment on the piece or did not answer emails. An earlier examination of the work of art in a gallery in Vienna led the director does not mean that there was a Da Vinci, and was unswayed by the new evidence.

The portrait was sent to Christie in 1998, with art historians suggested the piece came from 19th century German artists known as the Nazarenes, who imitated the Renaissance style. (This was disproved after carbon dating estimates the creation of the portrait between 1440 and 1650.) It was titled “Head of a young woman in profile to the left in Renaissance Dress.”

Kemp was not convinced and started looking at the history of painting. First saw the picture as an attachment to an email in 2008 and immediately recognized the da Vinci left hand style. He went to see her in Zurich and co-writer, Pascal Cotte, engineer and founder ofanlysis of the art implementation of Lumiere Technology, examined in Paris.

Cotte Kemp and later published “La Bella Principessa: The story of the new masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci” (Hb Hodder, 2010) stating that the work could be a Da Vinci, a claim that many respected historians have disagreed with some vehemence.

The portrait is done on vellum, a specially prepared skin is normally used for writing and printing. No Da Vinci work found on parchment before, although it was frequently used in books. Researchers believe that the portrait came from a book, with three seams are visible on the left of the portrait. Also made of chalk and ink, not paint.

“The ability to identify wine vellum book was quite small, a needle in the haystack, you could say,” Kemp told LiveScience. That was until the American art historian Dr. Edward Wright of the University of California at Berkeley, suggests that Kemp are a set of books entitled “Sforzi.”

There were at most four copies, Kemp said. Apart from the copy in the National Library in Warsaw, with a copy in London and Paris. Each book was made and the different cover art, evidence that the portrait had been “torn” were only found in the book of Warsaw. The image was probably removed during the 18th century, when the book was rebound, Kemp said.

Da Vinci was an artist in residence of the Duke of several years between 1481 and 1499. He was the only left-handed artist in the court at that time, the researchers said.

After the examination, Kemp realized that the stitch holes in the page match the stitching on the book, but are not the only evidence presented Kemp. Because vellum is made from processed skins, each sheet has different qualities. The thickness and composition of this piece coincides perfectly with the vellum of the book, said Kemp. There are marks on the edge of the book.

“It is clear from the evidence we have on the parchment and leaves missing, within reasonable margins of doubt, which is where it comes from,” said Kemp. “In 500 years old, never have confirmation of what you want, but this is as good as it gets.”

Kemp and Cotte has published a short version of his review of the work and mark the cutting and joining portrait, along with its lineanlysis vellum. The painting is now called “La Bella Principessa”, although its true origins are still under debate.

The art gallery Albertina in Vienna decided not to display the drawing, since being examined by the institution, “no one is convinced that it is a Leonardo,” said Klaus Albrecht Schr?der gallerist? Der ArtNews.

LiveScience spokeswoman Verena Dahlitz asked what he thinks the gallery of the new data, she said in an email, “We still believe that there is a real picture of Leonardo.” When asked who might have painted if he had come from the Sforzi, said: “We believe that drawing is the 19th century.”

Art blogger Hasan Niyazi in his blog The problem of line three, updated his article on the controversy of La Bella Principessa in response to Kemp to find in writing that in his opinion, “Critics of the piece must now refocus their approach – an argument that is a contemporary of Leonardo may still emerge from some. Notwithstanding any accusation that it is a later piece is less likely to stand up against the body of accumulating evidence for this job. ”

Many historians LiveScience contacted declined to comment on the piece. William Wallace, an art historian at Washington University in St. Louis would not comment on the piece, but said: “I think it’s because some, like me, want to rule on attribution unlikely, especially without having seen the original, “Wallace told LiveScience in an email. “Egos are easily injured in a small field, and Kemp, after all, is a highly respected scholar.”

Kemp will be publishing their findings in an updated edition of his book, “Leonardo” (Oxford University Press, 2011). A grant from the National Geographic funded the search for the books and the network is a documentary about the search for the true origins of the portrait to air in early 2012.

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