The Financial Times reports that progress is being made in the search for Leonardo’s lost fresco, The Battle of Anghiari:
Maurizio Seracini, a University of California scientist who was featured in Dan Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code and has been looking for Leonardo’s monumental “Battle of Anghiari” since 1975, announced his findings in Florence on Monday.
“The evidence does suggest that we are searching in the right place,” said Mr Seracini whose quest was driven by his earlier discovery of the words Cerca, trova (He who seeks, finds) painted on a flag in a later 16th century fresco by Giorgio Vasari that is believed to cover the original Leonardo.
Fuelling protests by leading art historians in Italy and elsewhere, Mr Seracini’s team bored six tiny holes through Vasari’s “Battle of Marciano” and inserted a 4mm endoscopic probe through a cavity to take samples of paint behind.
The team reported that the chemical composition of the black material was similar to pigment found in brown glazes on Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” and “St John the Baptist”, with Mr Seracini noting that Leonardo painted the “Mona Lisa” in Florence between 1503 and 1506, at the same time as the “Battle of Anghiari”. Only 18 of Leonardo’s paintings are known to exist.
Lost Leonardo Emerging After 450 Years (Financial Times)