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 Lucan portrait of Leonardo da Vinci

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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Lucan portrait of Leonardo da Vinci   Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:32 am

The Lucan portrait of Leonardo da Vinci is a recently discovered painting believed by some experts to be a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. The painting is oil on panel, 60 cm-by-44 cm (24×17 inches) and depicts Leonardo da Vinci in three-quarter view, with a long beard and wearing a dark hat. The painting was discovered in 2008 by Nicola Barbatelli, Director of Museo Antiche delle Genti di Lucania (Museum of the Ancient People of Lucania) of Vaglio Basilicata, a hill town in Basilicata in Southern Italy, where it is currently exhibited.[1] It has been given the name the Lucan portrait from Lucania, the ancient name of Basilicata.
The painting has been subject to a range of scientific tests to determine its age and with the apparent aim of supporting Barbatelli's attribution to Leonardo da Vinci. Alessandro Vezzosi, Director of the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci at Vinci, proposed an attribution to Cristofano dell'Altissimo, a prolific portrait painter of the 16th century, who executed for Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany numerous portraits, some of them after the Giovio Series of portraits of famous men, including a profile of Leonardo based on the red chalk profile drawing in the Royal Collection, attributed to Leonardo's companion Francesco Melzi. No results of detailed stylistic analysis of the painting, or stylistic comparison with known works by Leonardo da Vinci and other possible authors are available. It is unknown if such studies have taken place.
The Lucan portrait of Leonardo da Vinci is a painting in tempera grassa (using egg and oil as a medium) on wooden panel made of poplar 60 cm-by-44 cm (24×17 inches).[2] The painting depicts the head and shoulders of a man of mature age with long hair and flowing beard. He is dressed in a dark garment with a wide fur band at the edges, and has a black hat with a small upturned brim. The man's skin is pale, his eyes blue and his hair and beard greying. The figure is set against a dark greyish monochrome background and is brightly lit from the left of the picture, illuminating the right-hand side of the sitters face, and casting a shadow across the left-hand side. The gaze of the figure is turned towards the viewer.
The subject of the painting was thought by its owners to be Galilei Galileo but this is negated by comparisons with several known portraits of Galileo at different ages.[3] The identification of this portrait as Leonardo da Vinci is based upon comparison with several representations of the artist including a very similar portrait in the Uffizi[3] and the presumed autograph red chalk portrait in Turin.

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