Leonardo Da Vinci
Thursday, 15 October 2009
A portrait of a young woman thought to be created by a 19th century German artist and sold two years ago for about $19,000 is now being attributed by art experts to Leonardo da Vinci and valued at more than $150 million. The unsigned chalk, ink and pencil drawing, known as “La Bella Principessa,” was matched to Leonardo via a technique more suited to a crime lab than an art studio — a fingerprint and palm print found on the 13½-inch-by-10-inch work. Technical, stylistic and material composition evidence — including carbon dating — had art experts believing as early as last year that they had found another work by [Da Vinci].
“Leonardo used his hands liberally and frequently as part of his painting technique. His fingerprints are found on many of his works,” Peter Paul Biro, a Montreal-based forensic art expert, said. “I was able to make use of multispectral images to make a little smudge a very readable fingerprint.”
Based on its style, the portrait has been dated to 1485-1490, placing it at a time when Leonardo (1452-1519) was living in Milan. Canadian-born art collector Peter Silverman bought [the painting]… on behalf of an anonymous Swiss collector in 2007 for about $19,000. New York art dealer Kate Ganz had owned it for about nine years after buying it at auction for a similar price. One London art dealer now says it could be worth more than $150 million.
Text sourced from Associated Press.