Leonardo da Vinci’s Lost Drawing Was Discovered By A French Doctor!

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The  "extraordinary" drawing by Leonardo da Vinci valued at $15.79 million (€15 million, £12.5 million) was recently found by a retired doctor from France among his father's old belongings! Experts say the discovery is “heart-pounding.”

A retired doctor visited the Paris-based auction house Tajan with 14 unframed drawings that had been collected by his bibliophile father. (The owner’s name remains anonymous)

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Thaddée Prate, director of old master pictures at Tajan spotted a vigorous pen-and-ink study of St. Sebastian tied to a tree, inscribed on the mount “Michelange” (Michelangelo).

It's the first Leonardo work to resurface in more than 15 years.

www.hindustantimes.com

“I had a sense that it was an interesting 16th-century drawing that required more work,” Mr. Prate told.

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"It was by a left-handed artist, like Leonardo," he said. He also spotted diagrammatic studies of candlelight accompanied by notes written in a minute, Italian Renaissance right-to-left hand.

Stunned himself by the discovery, Mr. Prate contacted the owner and asked him: “I hope you’re not shocked?"

“I’m very pleased,” the owner calmly responded. “But I have other interests in life other than money.”

The estimated value of the drawing, by the way, is $15.79 million (€15 million, £12.5 million).

Mr. Prate sought another expert's opinion too and she confirmed it was indeed a da Vinci.

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“My eyes jumped out of their sockets,” Dr. Bambach said, remembering her first sight of the drawing in Paris with Mr. de Bayser on the last day of March. “It exactly complemented the Hamburg St. Sebastian,” she added, referring to how that pen-and-ink study of the saint tied to a tree also included inscribed optical studies on the reverse side, and how the handwriting of the inscription was consistent in both double-sided drawings.

“What we have here is an open-and-shut case. It’s an exciting discovery.” she says.

www.italianrenaissance.org

The auction house has not released any information about a sale of the work, but it could be subjected to a temporary export ban if it is declared a “national treasure” by the government, which would give France 30 months to buy the work at market value.

Sources: 1, 2

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