Wednesday 14th December 2016
A LONG-LOST DRAWING BY LEONARDO DA VINCI OF ST SEBASTIAN UNVEILED IN PARIS EARLIER THIS WEEK HAS BEEN VALUED AT £11.8 MILLION.
Hidden among a jumble sale find of unknown sketches and brought to auction, the drawing represented the first Leonardo to be discovered for 15 years.
Paris auctioneer Thadee Prate said there was no doubt the “extraordinary discovery” was one of eight drawings of The Martyred Saint Sebastian mentioned in the Codex Atlanticus, a list compiled by the Italian Reniassance genius and master draftsman.
As the story goes; Thadee Prate, director of old master pictures at Tajan recalls how, one day in March, “being in a bit of a rush” when he heard a knock at the door, he invited the retired doctor in. The doctor pulled out the seven-and-a-half by five-inch drawing from a portfolio of 15 unframed pictures, which had belonged to his father.
Believing that it was a 16th-century drawing that required more work, Mr Prate, 55, went on to ask for a second opinion from a dealer and adviser in old master drawings, Patrick de Bayser. According to Mr Bayser, there was no doubt; it was definitely the work of a left-handed artist, and therefore it must be by Leonardo?
ABSOLUTELY was the response of Carmen C Bambech of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, who commented; “My eyes jumped out of their sockets”. In fact, according to Bambech the attribution was “incontestible” and therefore, “An open-and-shut case”.
On record, the highest price paid to-date for a Leonardo drawing at auction was $11.5 m, at Christie’s in 2001, for a silverpoint study of a horse and rider.
YET ANOTHER ‘MIRACULOUS’ FIND AND STILL IN ONE PIECE AFTER OVER 500 YEARS?
Claire Moore BA(Hons)