Found Da Vinci Sketches
Leonardo Da Vinci is continuing to make his mark in 2019. Underneath one of his most famous paintings, something new has revealed itself for the first time after five hundred years. Handprints and sketches by the old master have made their way into modern history. Scientific analysis of “The Virgin of the Rocks,” is on display at London’s National Gallery. It shows the original composition Leonardo started and then abandoned. The sketches he left behind in place of the painting we’ve admired for centuries. Initial designs for the angel and Baby Jesus in the painting have been uncovered by the process. As well as handprints where the artist or an assistant patted down paint on the canvas, London’s National Gallery said.
The angle of the infant Christ’s head shows the profile. Removing parts of the angel’s curly hair. Positioning the figures higher up in the discarded composition. The angel is facing out, looking down on the Infant Christ. The found Da Vinci sketches paint a slightly different image. “It appears to be a much tighter embrace,” the gallery explained in a press release.
Leonardo 500 years later
“These new images were found because the drawings were made in a material that contained some zinc. So it could be seen in the macro x-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF) maps. These maps show where this chemical element was present. In addition to the new infrared and hyperspectral imaging,” it explained. The experts at the National Gallery made the revelations. During the announcement of the new exhibition on the artist, titled “Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece,” which will run from November.
The commemoration of the 500-year anniversary of Leonardo’s death took place earlier this year. The artist, scientist, and inventor remains one of the most enduring figures in Western history.
His surviving body of work as a painter is slim, however. His portfolio expands for no fewer than 20 artworks. Although two of them — the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper” — are easily among the most famous in the world. Leonardo painted two versions of “The Virgin of the Rocks”. Both pieces look similar overall but have crucial differences in the composition. The earlier, dating to around 1483, is on display at the Louvre in Paris. The version in The National Gallery is dated sometime between 1495 and 1508.