Leonardo da Vinci portrait 'worth millions' identified by fingerprint

Posted By: Staff
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London, Oct 13 (ANI): A portrait, which was previously unidentified, is said to have been revealed as being one of famous Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci's, courtesy a fingerprint.

The painting, titled Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress, had recently been sold for 12,000 pounds, and it was billed at a Christie's sale in 1998 as "German, early 19th century", reports the Telegraph.

But it was only after Canadian-born owner Peter Silverman decided to get the portrait checked that it was discovered it could be worth tens of millions of pounds.

A Paris laboratory made the discovery when it found a fingerprint from the tip of an index or middle finger on the top left of the picture.

According to the Antiques Trade Gazette, the fingerprint was "highly comparable" to one found on da Vinci's work St Jerome, which he painted early in his career when he did not have assistants.

The infrared analysis also showed "significant" stylistic parallels with those in da Vinci's Portrait of a Woman in Profile in Windsor Castle.

The ink and chalk drawing was also made by a left-handed artist, as da Vinci was, while carbon dating was consistent with the Milanese fashion the girl was dressed in, from the late 15th century.

If the portrait, which is due to go on display in an exhibition in Sweden next year, is verified as a genuine da Vinci it could be worth 100 million pounds.

Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at Oxford University, thought that "by a process of elimination", the subject could be Bianca Sforza, the daughter of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan (1452-1508) and his mistress Bernardina de Corradis. (ANI)

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