Lost da Vinci Fresco Found?

A group of Italian researchers believes Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco “The Battle of Anghiari,” long thought to have been lost in the 16th century, has been found — right behind another fresco on the wall of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

Samples taken from behind Giorgio Vasari’s “Battle of Marciano” have shown to include a black pigment with a similar chemical composition to that used in da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and “St. John the Baptist.”

According to Maurizio Seracini, a professor at the University who is leading the National Geographic supported research, that pigment was only found in the works of da Vinci.

Da Vinci had been entrusted to commemorating Florence’s victory over Milan in the Battle of Anghiari in the early 1500s, and his frescoes were visible for years in Palazzo Vecchio before Vasari’s work covered them.

More research is needed before researchers can say definitively whether the Lost Leonardo has been found, and not everyone is on board with such further testing; some are concerned with the damage that may be done to Vasari’s work in the quest to prove whether or not “The Battle of Anghiari” is indeed behind Vasari’s work.

* In Italian: “Battaglia di Anghiari,” trovato pigmento come in “Gioconda”
* In English: Researchers say long-lost Leonardo may have been found
* Image source: Wikimedia Commons



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2 comments

  1. What happens when art history gets complicated. This is such an interesting discovery with a difficult solution. Is the risk of destroying a work by Vasari worth the chance of uncovering an unfinished work by Leonardo da Vinci? Something tells me that on some level Vasari would be happy with the discovery! :-) Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Gemelli Press Reply:

    One of those times when you can truly see both sides to the argument — though a lost da Vinci *does* seem to be a rather special case. We’ll see, I suppose! Thx for commenting, Laura :)

    [Reply]

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