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Displaying items by tag: scholarly debate

A painting potentially by the Italian Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci, was discovered is a Swiss bank vault holding a private collection of 400 paintings. The work closely resembles a 15th century sketch by da Vinci of the Italian noblewoman Isabella d’Este, which is in the Louvre’s collection. If proven to be authentic, the painting could bring a long-running scholarly debate to a close. For centuries art historians debated whether or not da Vinci went on to paint a version of the sketch of d’Este, one of the most influential figures in art and fashion during her time.    

Carlos Pedretti, a professor emeritus of art history at the University of California Los Angeles and a da Vinci expert, told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, “There are no doubts that the portrait is the work of Leonardo. I can immediately recognize da Vinci’s handiwork, particularly in the woman’s face.” Carbon dating conducted at the University of Arizona confirmed with 95% accuracy that the artwork was painted between 1460 and 1650, the time period when da Vinci is believed to have met and sketched d’Este. Further testing indicated that the pigments and primer used in the work match the ones the artist used throughout his career. Some scholars are more hesitant to say that the newly discovered work is an authentic da Vinci as it was painted on canvas rather than wood panels, which were favored by the master.

There are only 15 to 20 artworks in the world that have been properly attributed to da Vinci.

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