Art Buzz March 13, 2012: Uncovering Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ will destroy one of the great legends of Renaissance art history.

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

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Leonardo Da Vinci: nothing to find but disappointment

Uncovering Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ will destroy one of the great legends of Renaissance art history.

Source: Telegraph UK, 3-13-12

 'Proof' that long lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece lies behind Florence painting

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National Geographic Fellow Maurizio Seracini (foreground) and his team view footage captured by the endoscope behind the Vasari wall Photo: Dave Yoder
'Proof' that long lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece lies behind Florence painting

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A banner showing the painting which might be hidden Photo: DARIO THUBURN/AFP/Getty Images
 'Proof' that long lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece lies behind Florence painting

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The endoscope and sampling tool used to investigate the air gap behind the Vasari mural in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio Photo: Dave Yoder

It is one of the most influential paintings that never quite were. Commissioned for the Hall of the Five Hundred, the gigantic meeting room of Florence’s governing body in the city’s Palazzo Vecchio in 1504, Leonardo’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ was to have been his largest painting, a vast fresco that was for centuries a watchword among artists for the portrayal of heroic muscular effort.

Depicting a battle of 1440, in which the papal forces, led by Florence, defeated those of Leonardo’s home city Milan, it centred on a murderous struggle between four horsemen for the possession of a standard. Their snorting steeds writhing and rolling as the knights grapple, the scene couldn’t be further from the transcendant serenity that characterised the National Gallery’s recent Leonardo blockbuster.

Yet it’s a work that changed the way artists approached the problems of movement and physical struggle. Or that is what we’ve been led to understand, for no one has set eyes on the painting for over 450 years.

Its great rival in this category of non-existent exemplar was commissioned to hang on the wall opposite: Michelangelo’s ‘Battle of Cascina’. This was to have been the place where the two giants, and the great artistic rivals, of that extraordinary period came face to face across the political fulcrum of the most important city of the Renaissance.

In fact, the whole thing was a fiasco from first to last. The two artists had as little to do with each other as possible. Leonardo, who had had problems with fresco – tempera on wet plaster – while working on the ‘Last Supper’, took the unprecedented step of applying oil paint directly onto the wall. A thunderstorm created excessive humidity, causing the colours to drip and merge into each other. Discouraged, he abandoned the project….READ MORE

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Art Buzz March 13, 2012: Maurizio Seracini: Has Lost Leonardo Da Vinci the Battle of Anghiari Been Found? Mona Lisa Paint Found Behind Wall in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio Lends Clue

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Lost Da Vinci Found? Mona Lisa Paint Lends Clue

The search for a Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece reveals intriguing traces of paint that was also used in the Mona Lisa.

Source: Discovery News, 3-13-12

THE GIST

  • Art experts have drilled a hole through a 14th-century frescoed wall and recovered traces of a paint once used by Da Vinci in the Mona Lisa.
  • The researchers believe this may be evidence that a long lost Da Vinci masterpiece has been hidden behind the wall.
  • The work is a painting called the “Battle of Anghiari” and its recovery would be a huge discovery.
Rubens copy of Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari

Peter Paul Rubens’ copy of Leonardo’s “The Battle of Anghiari.” Click to enlarge this image.
Wikimedia Commons

Researchers struggling to solve a longstanding Leonardo da Vinci mystery — the fate of a lost masterpiece known as the “Battle of Anghiari — have found intriguing traces of paint hidden behind a 5-inch-thick frescoed wall in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s 14th-century city hall.

The color is consistent with that used by the Renaissance creator of the Mona Lisa, suggesting that Leonardo’s artwork has remained hidden behind that frescoed wall for more than 500 years.

Known as the “Battle of Marciano,” the mural was painted by the renowned 15th-century painter, architect and writer Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) in the imposing Hall of the Five Hundred. The hall was a room built at the end of the 15th century to accommodate the meetings of the Florentine Council.

PHOTOS: The Face of Da Vinci: An Enduring Mystery

Right behind that wall could lie one of the biggest discoveries in the history of art, according to art diagnostic expert Maurizio Seracini, director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology at the University of California, San Diego, who has been searching for the lost masterpiece since the 1970s….READ MORE