Just when we think we have accounted for all of Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings, another one pops out of the wood works. Entitled, La Bella Principessa, this latest masterpiece was until recently, thought to have been the work of an unknown 19th century German painter.
Formerly known as 'Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress' or 'Profile of a Young Fiancee', the 13" by 8 5/8" portrait, first came into view in 1998, when it was purchased at an art auction by Kate Ganz, a New York based art dealer for $19,000 USD.
Kate kept it until 2007, before putting it up for sale - That's when it caught the eye of a Swiss contemporary art collector and his Canadian friend Peter Silverman, also an avid art fan himself. Ironically, Peter had bid and lost out to Kate for that same painting in 1998.
While the Swiss art collector did not recognize it as the work of the Italian maestro, he had a hunch that it was more than a painting by an 'unknown' artist. Encouraged by Peter, he decided to snag it on the spot.
In fact, the two were so convinced that they decided to consult some experts - who looked at the style, details and perspective and agreed that it could very well be a Da Vinci - However, there was no concrete proof.
Mr. Silverman, decided to take it one step further and get it tested for finger prints, just in case the painter had left some smudge marks.
And sure enough there it was. A fingerprint that matched Leonardo's was found on the top left corner of the painting.
Needless to say the La Bella Principessa is now being valued at the slightly higher price of $150 million USD, and, has been tucked away in a secret Swiss vault for safekeeping.
Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci, is considered one of the greatest painters of all times and also, one of the most diversely talented human to ever live.
Besides being a painter the amazing man who was born in Florence, Italy, was also a musician, inventor, sculptor, writer, engineer and the list goes on and on.
His most famous works of art include the 'Mona Lisa' and 'The Last Supper' - both of which have been reproduced millions of times. To read more about this amazing man check out www.leonardo-da-vinci-biography.com.
sources: cnn.com, wikipedia.org, yahoo.com, about.com