The researchers from Italy have been able to attribute a newly discovered sketch of Jesus Christ to Leonardo da Vinci. The red chalk drawing of the Biblical figure was hidden away for centuries in a private collection. The experts of art may have stumbled upon the Holy Grail of the art world by discovering a new work by the master of the Renaissance, as reported by The Telegraph.
Da Vinci, who lost his life in 1519, is one of the most famous artists of the world because of his works like the Mona Lisa and the painting of the Last Supper. The newly found drawing depicts a calm Christ with a 'Mona Lisa-Esque' gaze and has a resemblance to other works of the artist. It is now going to undergo scrutiny as the world of art tries to authenticate whether it is a real deal or not.
The sketch was hidden in a bank in Lombardy. The lab tests have already discovered the paper dates back to the early 16th century and it has a resemblance to the works of Leonardo. Italian art historian Annalisa Di Maria who studied the painting said that the pose perspective and style all appear to be of the master.
Painting of Leonardo Da Vinci?
"It has that dynamism and sense of movement that is typical of Leonardo. The rendering of the beard is practically identical to Leonardo's self-portraits, as are the eyes. And the painting is in red chalk, which the artist used a lot, including in the sketches for The Last Supper," she said as reported by The Sun.
The experts are due to present 60-page research of the artwork at a press conference in Florence after Italy goes through the second wave of the coronavirus or COVID-19. "It is a remarkably beautiful and refined work and I'm absolutely convinced it is a sketch by Leonardo," Di Maria added.
The sketch is currently with a pair of collectors in Lecco, northern Italy. It is not clear where it was hidden over the centuries after it got discovered from the vault of the bank. Martin Kemp, who is a professor in the history of art at Oxford University was cautious about the attribution of the Italians. The story claims about the hidden secrets of Christianity, like the descendants of Jesus and the Holy Grail.
"I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand but I simply can't tell without seeing the drawing and the scientific evidence. I would need to see if it is drawn left-handed. Leonardo drew everything with his left hand," Kemp said. He also suggested that there is a possibility that the sketch could have been made by a pupil of Leonardo. "There is quite a crop of paintings of Christ and Salvator Mundi that were produced by followers of Leonardo," he added. The painting of Jesus, the Salvator Mundi, got rediscovered in 2005 and became the most expensive painting to get sold.