Recently in the art news has been the discovery of a painting which many believe to be a lost Leonardo. It was found in the Swiss bank vault of an Italian family who’s own collection consists of over 400 works. If it is truly a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci, it would be over 500 years old and worth tens of millions of dollars! The subject of the painting is Isabella d’Este, a famous noblewoman from Mantua, whom it is known that Leonardo had worked for. She had commissioned him to do a sketch and that actual pencil sketch currently sits in the Louvre. It is believed that she also asked him to paint the portrait, but that painting had never been found. As art historians know, Leonardo had the habit of starting a project and not completing it – therefore, the fact that this painting was missing was not that surprising (because they questioned whether it had ever existed!) So it’s discovery 3 years ago in Switzerland caused a great uproar within the art community. Many believe that it is truly the lost painting and realize it’s great value. It’s pigments and primers were scientifically tested and found to be identical to those used by the great artist. But the skepticism arises in the fact that this painting was done on canvas – Leonardo preferred to paint on wooden boards.
I think the similarities between the sketch and the painting are incredible, but that’s just because I am not an artist and anything that looks close to the original looks real to me! But I guess if you’re talented enough, you can reproduce the piece and make it look real….how will they ever be sure?