Da Vinci’s greatest may yet be seen
AN ITALIAN art expert claims he is on the verge of discovering a longlost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece – hidden in a secret cavity behind a palace wall.
University professor Maurizio Serancini believes a clue in a huge painting in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio appears to suggest that Da Vinci’s The Battle of Anghiari is concealed behind it.
The unfinished painting, from 1503, is believed to be an immense battle scene three times the size of Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
The current fresco features The Battle of Marciano in the Chiana Valley, by Giorgio Vasari, another Renaissance artist.
Serancini, who also appeared in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as an “Italian art diagnostician”, developed his theory after noticing a banner on Vasari’s painting which bears the words Cerca Trova – which means “seek and you will find”.
He said, “I have been searching the documents for many years and I have not come across anything that suggests the painting was destroyed, damaged or removed.
“It was considered by Leonardo's contemporaries to be his foremost masterpiece.”
Serancini has been given permission to use a neutron beam projector to see if the wall hides the linseed oil-based paints Da Vinci was known to have used.
Marco Agnoletti, a spokesman for Florence’s mayor Matteo Renzi, said: “We may find nothing. But if there really is a work by Leonardo, it would be of huge importance to the whole world.”
Da Vinci painted The Battle of Anghiari to mark Florence’s proclamation as a republic, following the toppling of the Medici family.
He didn’t finish it and when the Medicis returned to power in the 1560s, it is thought Vasari was commissioned to produce a new work in the same place. – Daily Mail