Lost Da Vinci: did Leonardo paint this masterpiece?

ITALY: Move over, Mona Lisa

ITALY: Move over, Mona Lisa. If Carlo Pedretti's hunch is right, the world may soon have another Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece to admire. A beautiful painting called Mary Magdalene, which the world-renowned art historian suspects may have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci together with one of his pupils, will soon go on public view for the first time in more than half-a-century.

The painting, measuring 58cm by 45cm, was believed to have been painted in 1515, four years before the master died.

It goes on display in October in the Adriatic port of Ancona and depicts Magdalene bare breasted and wearing a red robe.

It has been attributed to Giampietrino, a Leonardo pupil whose work can be found in some of the world's greatest museums, including Leningrad's Hermitage and London's National Gallery. But Prof Pedretti, director of the Armand Hammer Centre for Leonardo Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, suspects it may be much more.


"Because of the very high quality, I am inclined to believe that it is much more than a supervision of the student by the master," he said.

"I can't say for sure yet, but this is my position and I am prepared to follow up with the whole process of laboratory verification and the rest of it," the 77-year-old professor said. Prof Pedretti, co-curator of the exhibition of works by Giampietrino and others, said the work "has the character of a Giampietrino painting but is far beyond his qualities". - (Reuters)