Leonardo da Vinci’sVitruvian Man is one of his most recognized and admired works. However, new evidence suggests that it was not the artist’s original work. Architectural historian Claudio Sgabari believes that the piece may have been copied from Leonardo’s friend and contemporary Giacamo Andrea de Ferrera.
In Leonardo’s writings, he mentions “Giacomo Andrea’s Vitruvius” — seemingly a direct reference to the illustrated Ferrara manuscript. Secondly, Leonardo had dinner with Giacomo Andrea in July 1490, the year in which both men are thought to have drawn their Vitruvian men. Experts believe Leonardo would have probed Giacomo Andrea’s knowledge of Vitruvius when they met. And though both drawings interpret Vitruvius’ words similarly, Leonardo’s is perfectly executed, while Giacomo Andrea’s is full of false starts and revisions, none of which would have been necessary if he had simply copied Leonardo’s depiction, rather than the other way around. (Scientific American)
Other Art Historians agree with the argument and believe that the origins of the Vitruvian man may be more involved and intricate than previously believed. To read about this story in more detail, see the article in Scientific America, MSNBC, and FoxNews.
Art Historian and Oxford Professor Martin Kemp has officially declared his belief that “La Belle Principessa,” once believed to be a stunning da Vinci forgery, is in fact an original piece by the famed artist. The piece purchased in auction for a little over $20,000 may in fact be worth millions.
To learn more about the piece Kemp’s research, see the article on BBC News.
Nuclear physicists are actively hunting for Leonardo da Vinci’s famous lost painting, the “Battle of Anghiari.” The historical Battle of Anghiari took place in 1440 between Milan and the Republic of Florence. Leonardo was commissioned to record the historic event in 1504 by Nicollo Machiaveli for one of his Florentine patrons. The painting is referenced not only in legal papers (signed by the infamous statesman himself) as well as in Da Vinci’s own notebooks – including several preparatory sketches and studies.
Many scholars believe that the painting still exists hidden underneath later frescoes in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Physicists have developed a special camera capable of taking photographs through a five-foot thick wall in the hopes of identifying the painting without damaging the existing paintings.
To learn more about the investigation and development of this technology, see this article on FoxNews.
On August 21, 1911, Leondardo da Vinci’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre by Italian nationalist Vincenzo Peruggia. He reportedly committed the crime alone and stated that he intended to return the painting to Italy – a restoration of native goods. Peruggia was apparently unaware that Leonardo himself sold the painting to King Francois I.
However,t he case itself is one of the least understood and mysterious art heists in history. Peruggia reportedly walked into the Louvre, removed the painting fro a wall, wrapped it in clothe, and then walked out the door – all in plain view of the Security Guards (who reported that they assumed he was the Museum Photographer).
Yesterday, I posted a story about excavations under the estate of Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo, the woman believed to have inspired Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. You can read my original post and check out the initial link here.
Today, the Telegraph reports more on this historical excavation in this article.
The aim of the dig is to find Mona Lisa’s remains, compare her DNA with that of two her children buried in Florence’s Santissima Annunziata church, then reconstruct her face and compare it to Leonardo’s painting.