A CHALK drawing of Jesus Christ discovered recently is believed to be a previously unknown work by Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci.
The discovery was announced by the Leonardo da Vinci International Committee.
The work has been hidden for centuries in a private collection and has striking similarities to the Mona Lisa. It will be coming under scrutiny while experts investigate its significance.
Tests carried out on the paper on which it was drawn have placed it in the early 16th century.
Experts say that one thing which suggests it could be Da Vinci’s work is the posture, which is not front on to the viewer but on an angle.
Other characteristics are also similar to his work, such as the sense of movement, the use of red chalk and the appearance of the eyes and beard.
The sketch currently belongs to collectors in northern Italy, but it is unknown where it was kept.
One of the world’s leading experts on Leonardo da Vinci, Professor Martin Kemp, said that he would have to see if the work was done left-handed, The Telegraph reported. He added that the paper would need further dating as the drawing could have been produced by one of da Vinci’s students. While he was positive about the use of red chalk, he reportedly said “It would be dangerous to write it off but even more dangerous to accept it at this point”.
Meanwhile, according to Annalisa Di Maria, a member of the Unesco Centre in Florence’s Committee of Art and Literature, if the work is Da Vinci’s, this would be the real face of Christ in the artist’s eyes, while his renowned Salvator Mundi, would be a forgery.
The Salvator Mundi was auctioned in Dubai in 2017 for €379.5 million but nobody knows where it is.
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