His penetrating gaze reminds of Mona Lisawhile the beard and the mouth bear a striking similarity to the portraits the artist makes of himself. Italian researchers claim to have found the SHoly Grail of the art world, an unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci, hidden for centuries in a private collection. It is a chalk drawing that represents Christ. Owned by private collectors, it is kept in a bank somewhere in Lombardy, in the north of the country.
“It is a remarkably beautiful and refined work and I am absolutely convinced that it is a Leonardo sketch”, she tells “The Telegraph” the historiadora of Italian art Annalisa Di Maria. The paper it is drawn on has undergone laboratory testing and dates back to the early 16th century. «There are many elements that support this theory: the posture of Christ it is typical of Leonardo, who rarely drew figures from the front but from an angle, so that they looked at the viewer from a three-quarter perspective. Has that dynamism and sense of movement which is typical of Leonardo “, warns Di Maria, author of the book” The Mona Lisa and its meaning: Leonardo da Vinci and the Neoplatonic school “, published last year.
«The beard is practically identical to Leonardo’s self-portraits, as are the eyes. And the painting is made with red chalk, which the artist used a lot, even in the sketches of “The Last Supper”. The sketch is in the hands of a couple of collectors from the city of Lecco in northern Italy, who in turn acquired it from a private collection » .
A 60-page study on this will be presented at a press conference in Florence once Italy manages to control the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor of Art History at Oxford University and one of the world’s leading authorities on the artist’s life and work, was shown wary of attribution. He is tired of outlandish claims being made about Leonardo, especially in the wake of the success of ‘The Da Vinci Code’, and warns on his website that ‘there is absolutely no historical evidence that Leonardo or other Renaissance painters hid images or messages secrets in his paintings ». “I would not dismiss this attribution out of hand, but I just can’t say it without seeing the drawing and the scientific evidence,” he told “The Telegraph.” ‘I would need to see if it is drawn by a southpaw. Leonardo drew everything with his left hand».
The dating of the drawing should also be examined by independent experts. There is a possibility that the sketch was made by one of his disciples from his workshop. «There are a lot of paintings of Christ and the Salvator Mundi which were made by followers of Leonardo, ‘said Professor Kemp. «Leonardo was a great pioneer of red chalk, it was one of his favorite media. I am not ruling it out, but there is a long way to go. It would be dangerous to dismiss it, but even more dangerous to accept it right now.».