New Leonardo da Vinci sketches found on back of masterpiece?

December 18, 2008

Paris (ChattahBox) — The Louvre museum got a nice surprise when they checked the back of one of Leonardo da Vinci major works.

Describing the find as “an exceptional discovery”, The museum’s  1500s da Vinci oil Virgin And Child With St Anne was undergoing routine examination in the laboratory when three sketches were found on the back believed to be drawn by the master himself.

The painting is made of four vertical planks of poplar backed by two horizontal wooden crosspieces.  A curator from the paintings department handling the painting noticed two barely visible sketches on the back, representing a horse’s head and half a skull. Further examination revealed a third sketch, a Baby Jesus and Lamb.

The sketches, which are practically invisible to the naked eye, had never been noticed in the past when handling the extremely heavy work.

After noting the presence of the two sketches, the back of the work was sent for further examination and the third sketch seen.

The Louvre said it was an an exceptional discovery but maintained caution saying: “While the style of the sketches evokes Leonardo da Vinci, research is continuing.”


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