Missing da Vinci shows up after 500 years

da vinci painting

Sorry for the interruption in normal transmission but I found this extraordinary and thought I would pass it along. It obviously hasn’t been sitting in a bank vault for 500 years but that’s where it was found. They had always had the sketch. Now they have the painting that came after.

After seeing the drawing he produced, the marquesa wrote to the artist, imploring him to produce a full-blown painting.

But shortly afterwards he embarked on one of his largest works, The Battle of Anghiari on the walls of Florence’s town hall, and then, in 1503, started working on the Mona Lisa.

Art historians had long believed he simply ran out of time — or lost interest — in completing the commission for Isabella d’Este.

Now it appears that he did in fact manage to finish the project — perhaps when he encountered the aristocrat, one of the most influential female figures of her day, in Rome in 1514.

Whatever, whenever, it is an amazing picture.

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19 Responses to Missing da Vinci shows up after 500 years

  1. C.L. says:

    The excitable report concludes:

    It was more likely to have been produced by one of the many artists operating in northern Italy who copied Leonardo’s works.

    So yeah. Mmm.

  2. Robin says:

    d’Este then would be the Ferrera nobility that Lucretia Borgia married into. If you are ever taking the train between Florence and Venice add a day and stop in the exquisite Ferrera. You still have a working moat at the castle and get to start in a real dungeon and eat up in the exquisitely frescoed rooms.

    There is also a winebar behind the cathedral that goes back centuries and Copernicus literally once lived upstairs.

    There’s a reason history is no longer being taught well in most parts of the world. Recurring themes and drives and common mistakes in seeking power make the likely consequences of today’s bad collectivist ideas much easier to see.

  3. entropy says:

    So could that be a man dressed as a woman? The sacred feminine perhaps? A clue to the holy grail in that feather?

  4. Bill says:

    Really overrated. If Isabella had waited a few years she could have sat for Titian

  5. C.L. says:


    It’s a palm leaf – symbol of victory, especially of spirit over the flesh.

  6. boy on a bike says:

    Amazing how a bit of tax avoidance is good for saving things for posterity.

  7. Bill says:

    Uncanny resemblance to JE Gillard?

  8. candy says:

    She looks ladylike with character and discernment.

  9. ACTOldFart says:

    The sketchy is worthy to be a da Vinci. I don’t think the painting is – it’s too cold, too flat. leonardo was betterthan that.

  10. Hugh says:

    I’m no art critic or historian, but looking at the two pictures, the 1514 date for completion seems right – Isabella’s face looks distinctly more mature in the painting than in the sketch.

  11. entropy says:

    #1026514, posted on October 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    It’s a palm leaf – symbol of victory, especially of spirit over the flesh.

    A-ha! So to. Is the sacred feminine!

    I blame the masons.

  12. manalive says:

    I don’t care what the experts say, it’s certainly not a da Vinci IMHO, the rendering of the face is indelicate even crude.
    It’s probably not even a contemporary copy because of the back-lighting to outline the hair.
    I’ve never seen that in Renaissance portraiture where there is a dark or black background heads emerge without an outline.

  13. Lysander says:

    Da Vinci’s art is living proof you don’t need govt funding for arts!

  14. Alfonso says:

    That’s not Leon….the sketch is much more interesting than the flat one dimensional portrait and piss poor lighting. Deep cover art fraud.

  15. Lucie says:

    Fascinating, whatever the true story …

  16. J.H. says:

    Pffft….. It’s not even in proportion.

    Now this is real skill with ink……

  17. Stan says:

    Headline should read “Missing Leonardo shows up…”. da Vinci is not his surname as such.

  18. vlad says:

    “How do we know it’s not a fake? It looks like a fake.”

  19. Peter56 says:

    Give me Rembrandt any old day, but being an arts Philistine, what would I know?
    I find this painting to be as bland and boring as the Mona Lisa.

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