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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Da Vinci Painting Discovered via Fingerprint

Proving that we may never account for all of the artwork produced by some of the world’s most famous painters, the art world has again been set alight by a recent discovery of a new Da Vinci portrait that has been long referred to as La Bella Principessa. This finding is very exceptional considering how few works of art were produced by the artist and has sent scholars, auction houses and gallery owners scrambling to discover the true origin of the piece. Inquiries into just how such a piece has escaped attention until now are ongoing and should yield some interesting finds.

The piece itself was long thought to have been by a 19th century German artist and sold to an anonymous collector from the Ganz Gallery in New York for just below $20,000. The revelation that the piece may likely be by Da Vinci himself has now placed the value of the piece in excess of $150 million.

A number of clues lead to the discovery, including the fingerprint that has drawn the most attention in the media. This fingerprint, said to be comparable to one found on Da Vinci’s St. Jerome housed in the Vatican Museum is the most sensational detail that has drawn comparisons from authors to something out of a Sherlock Holmes novel. Other, less discrete clues include the fact that it is on vellum, is a portrait of the daughter of a 15th century Milanese Duke, appears to be anything but German and has been carbon dated to the period of Da Vinci.

The original "Renaissance Man," Leonardo Da Vinci was an artist as well as a theorist, engineer, and scientist. Da Vinci was one of the founders of the High Renaissance style and had a great influence on his contemporaries and successors alike. Beyond creating art, Da Vinci’s theories and viewpoints concerning the purpose and practice of art have been held in great esteem during his day and for the hundreds of years since his death. Although few of his pieces of art were ever finished, his most well known work the Mona Lisa has become arguably the most famous image in the entire world. Portraiture such as the Mona Lisa and the Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine show the artist’s great grasp of anatomy and skill of representation as well as exhibit the artist’s subtle but innovative artistic personality. The few religious artworks that remain are equally as well known and exceptional, notably the Last Supper.

This new find proves the value of researching potential art acquisitions. Just one minute detail that has been missed for hundreds of years can vastly increase the value of a piece, food for thought for anyone even mildly interested in owning art or anyone curious about a piece that has been in a family for years. MIR Appraisal Services offers research and consultation options for consumers that have not fully explored the treasures on their walls and in their basements and recommends that any collector seek out an appraisal or verbal consultation to establish the true value of a piece.

Justin Bergquist
MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.

307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308

Chicago, IL 60601

(312) 814-8510

Works Cited:
Israely, Jeff. “How a ‘New’ Da Vinci was Discovered,” in Time.,8599,1930431,00.html

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    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    Welcome to our blog site! MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. is a fine art and personal property appraisal company dedicated to serving clients throughout the United States and abroad since our incorporation in Chicago in 1994. We specialize in the multi-faceted field of appraising fine art, jewelry, antiques, and decorative items. We also provide professional fine art restoration and conservation treatment for various media, including but not limited to, artworks on canvas, board, masonite, and paper. We offer professional and precise appraisal services carried out by our team of accredited appraisers for the purposes of insurance coverage and claims, charitable donations, estate planning and probate, equitable distribution and fair-market value. We started our art commentary blog site as a venue for colleagues and fellow art enthusiasts to share their experiences within the art community.