This is a bit of Leonardo da Vinci as the Christ. Mysterious, surrounded by mysteries, the artist’s plot still, 500 years after his death. Monday, The Art Newspaper revealed that a fingerprint belonging very probably to the genius of the Renaissance has been found on a drawing. The document, titled The cardiovascular system and principal organs of a woman , is located in the royal collections of Great Britain, at Windsor castle. It dates from 1509 or 1510.
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The mark of the thumb is located near the left arm of the model. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
The mark of the thumb is located near the left arm of the model – from the point of view of the beholder. The footprint, made of ink, oscillates between the brown and the red. It is the similarity of the ink of the footprint and the one used for the design which has allowed Alan Donnithorne, a former curator in charge of drawings from the royal collections and an expert on Leonardo da Vinci, attributing it to the painter. As indicated by a mark erased from its index at the back of the sheet, the artist is said to have left the impression in turning the sheet.
“there are marks and footprints partial on other drawings, but this is by far the footprint of a thumb or finger of Leonardo, the more net”, explained to the Guardian Martin Clayton, the current head of prints and drawings in the royal collections.
“It does feel ever so close to Leonardo that before this print is drawn so clearly. It is so visible that it seems almost deliberate,” enthused the curator in the british daily.
A decisive mark?
Alan Donnithorne believes that this brand is the most “likely to be a footprint of finger genuine of Leonardo”, in comparison to the other traces found on nearly 550 drawings by the painter, preserved in the royal collections.
The discovery could have an impact on the attributions of the paintings of the master. In 2009, a fingerprint found on the table La Bella Principessa has led some researchers to ascribe the work to Leonardo da Vinci. They had compared to that found on the table unfinished Saint Jerome located at the Vatican. But others still questioned the authenticity of the work. The footprint discovery at Windsor will silence the doubts?
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The cardiovascular system and principal organs of a woman , will be exhibited at the national Museum of Cardiff and then at Buckingham palace. Alan Donnithorne, already author of a large bibliography on Leonardo da Vinci, gives more on the exciting discovery in a book published this Friday. The Beaux-Arts in Paris, an exhibition presented until April 19, the drawings that owns the institution, for some never before revealed to the public.