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Is this a lost Leonardo portrait worth $150 million?

September 28, 2011

'Lo and behold' ... Martin Kemp searched all over for the 15th-century book he believes the Leonardo Da Vinci portrait was ripped from; he found it in Poland. The Guardian.

This story has been percolating for a couple of years now and the Guardian provides a good timeline of a fascinating controversy.  A portrait sold as a 19th century German work by Christie’s in the late 1990’s for less than $20,ooo may actually be the only known Leonardo da Vinci on vellum … a 15th century ink and chalk image of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza’s illegitimate daughter Bianca and worth perhaps $150 million.  Oxford University emeritus professor of art history Martin Kemp argues the Leonardo authorship and he claims to have found the original book from which the portrait was removed.  The portrait has changed hands several times since its auction in 1998, and there are a number of lawsuits flying between various owners and agents.  Nothing like a good mystery.

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