Homepage > News > Culture > 

Canadian expert says new da Vinci painting found

2009-10-15 14:32 BJT

OTTAWA, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- An art piece that had been presumed to be a 19th-century German painting of a young woman is actually an original portrait by Italian master Leonardo da Vinci, a Canadian expert said Tuesday.

The woman in profile has now been identified as La Bella Principessa and believed to have been created around 1496 by the legendary Renaissance artist, Peter Paul Biro, director of forensics with Art Access and Research in Montreal, said, according to a Canwest News Service report.

Biro said he drew the conclusion because of a fingerprint on the painting. The fingerprint, believed to be of Leonardo's middle or index finger, was found in the upper right hand corner of the painting and matched to a Leonardo print from his painting of St. Jerome in the Vatican, he said in a statement.

The painting, reportedly purchased by Europe-based Canadian art collector Peter Silverman in 2007 for about 19,000 Canadian dollars (17,100 U. S. dollars), is now worth up to 150 million Canadian dollars (145 million U. S. dollars).

The discovery would represent the first new attribution of a painting to da Vinci in more than 100 years.

The print on the painting of St. Jerome is especially significant because the painting comes from a period when Leonardowas understood not to employ any assistants -- meaning that the print is almost certainly Leonardo's, Biro said.

He called the find a "great success" for his company and "further evidence of the growing importance of scientific techniques in the art world."

Editor: Zhao Yanchen | Source: Xinhua