OLD MASTER PAINTINGS

The Lost Leonardo Da Vinci

A high-tech art sleuth finds a hollow space behind an Italian palazzo’s murals, and believes he may have discovered a Da Vinci masterpiece not seen since 1563.

In a case of life imitating art, Maurizio Seracini, an internationally recognized expert in high-technology art analysis, has done just that – and, in an odd twist, he does indeed appear, as himself, in Dan Brown’s popular bestseller about secrets hidden in Leonardo’s work – the book’s only non-fictional character.

The long-lost fresco Seracini may have found is also known by its Anglicized title “Battle of Angiers.” Begun in 1505, the painting is considered by many art historians to be Leonardo’s most important – and largest – masterpiece. Vasari, commissioned by the Medici family in 1593 to remodel the palazzo’s hall, might have covered the unfinished work with a wall.

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