For centuries it was believed that Leonardo da Vinci made a pencil sketch of Isabella d’Este, but that he never completed a full portrait of the famous Renaissance noblewoman. Now, a discovery in a bank vault in Switzerland has revealed that the Italian art master likely did do a finished piece.
The painting has been part of a private collection of 400 works owned by an Italian family and kept in a Swiss bank. Experts have now looked and tested the portrait, which measures 24 inches by 18 inches and was painted canvas, and believe that da Vinci created it.
“There are no doubts that the portrait is the work of Leonardo,” Carlos Pedretti, a professor emeritus of art history professor at the University of California Los Angeles, told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “I can immediately recognise Da Vinci’s handiwork, particularly in the woman’s face,” he told the newspaper.
The University of Arizona conducted carbon dating tests that revealed with 95 percent accuracy that the artwork was painted sometime between 1460 and 1650. Other tests have shown that the type of pigment in the portrait was the same as that used by Leonardo, as was the primer used to treat the canvas.[...]