A new chalk drawing of Jesus Christ has been found which bears striking resemblance to the famous art of Mona Lisa.
The Italian researchers, who discovered it, believe it could be a work of Leonardo da Vinci, the famous renaissance artist. The drawing, which lay hidden away from the public for centuries, could be a significant finding and is likely to be scrutinized by the art world.
“It is a remarkably beautiful and refined work and I’m absolutely convinced it is a sketch by Leonardo," Italian historian Annalisa Di Maria was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph. She claims to have studied the picture carefully and said that the laboratory tests conducted on the paper have found it dating back to the 16th century.
It is known that Leonardo painted The Last Supper between 1495 and 1498 and the Mona Lisa between 1502 and 1516. There are very few works of the artist that have survived.
Di Maria pointed out several aspects of the painting that indicate it was Leonardo’s work. She said the posture of Christ was typical of Leonardo, who usually drew figures from an angle and not front-on, so as to face the viewer from a three-quarters perspective. She said the “dynamism and sense of movement" of the drawing was also typical of the artist.
The beard in the drawing and the eyes were practically identical to Leonardo’s self-portraits, she asserted. One of the most striking aspects was the use of red chalk in the drawing, which was often used by Leonardo, as was the case in The Last Supper.
The present owners of the sketch are from the Italian town of Lecco, who reportedly acquired it from a private collection. The past whereabouts of it are not known. Its discovery was announced by the Leonardo da Vinci International Committee.
The authenticity of the drawing, however, remains under suspicion. According to Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor at the Oxford University, who is a leading expert on Leonardo da Vinci, the artwork needed to be verified thoroughly before coming to a conclusion. “I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand but I simply can’t tell without seeing the drawing and the scientific evidence,” he was quoted as saying. He said he would need to examine whether it was drawn with a left-hand as Leonardo was left-handed. The use of red chalk, he admitted, could be significant.
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