Saturday, January 29, 2005
A workshop used by Leonardo daVinci has been discovered by three Italian art historians in a building just off the Piazza del Santissima Annunziata in the central part of Florence, Italy according to reports by Reuters and Canada's CTV appearing this morning.
Detail from an uncovered fresco
The abandoned 5-room studio, including a secret room possibly used as a mortuary by the eccentric and cadaver-dissecting Leonardo, was found beyond a hidden staircase that had been sealed over by previous building restoration.
According to Roberto Manescalchi, one of the three discovering researchers, “We have found the studio of one of history's greatest artists…The proof is on the walls" in a building, today, shared by an ancient convent and the Italian Institute of Military Geography.
500-year old frescos, left undisturbed for centuries in the forgotten Florentine rooms, contain images of birds strongly resembling known examples of daVinci’s work found in his Codex Atlanticus, a 1,286 page collection of drawings and writings by the 15th century painter, sculptor, inventor and scientist.
Detail, The Annunciation, Oil on wood, 1473-75, Uffizi Gallery
Another fresco, described as “colorful”, contains a white unfinished outline, referred to by researchers as “the ghost”, with a shape striking similar to daVinci’s painting of the Archangel Gabriel in The Annunciation housed in Florence’s Uffizi gallery.
The excited researchers are also speculating that it was near these rooms that daVinci met Lisa Gherardini, one of the possible models for the Mona Lisa, as the Gherardini family maintained a chapel in the Santissima Annunziata.
The Mona Lisa is also called La Gioconda after the 3rd wife of Francesco del Giocondo, the very same Lisa di Antonio Maria di Noldo Gherardini.
Of course, as with all such discoveries of this type, some “experts” are urging further research before officially classifying these rooms as having been daVinci’s.
The Italian researchers assured the press that further research will continue and said, “It’s easy to say ‘It’s not true’”.
A Personal Note
We are deeply saddened by the death of a very close friend yesterday afternoon.
This wonderful woman will be greatly missed by those who loved and were inspired by her.
A lifelong teacher and amazingly talented water colorist, this was a person who lived life to the fullest and enabled others to do the same.
We will miss her.
Images: CTV, mystudios.com