A stone’s throw away from his famous masterpieces at the Louvre, a newly discovered drawing by Leonardo da Vinci is causing a stir in Paris. A long-lost 530-year old pen and ink sketch has been attributed to the Renaissance genius, according to auction house Tajan who unveiled it yesterday (Nov. 12). The drawing, with two faint scientific drawings on the reverse, was brought to light by a retired French doctor who found it in in his father’s papers.“
My eyes jumped out of their sockets,” said Carmen C. Bambach, a curator of Italian and Spanish drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the New York Times. Bambach, who organized an exhibition about da Vinci’s drawings in 2003, worked with Tajan to authenticate the drawing.Bambach believes that the 7.5 x 5 inch sketch is one of eight studies of Christian martyr St. Sebastian, that da Vinci listed in his Codex Atlanticus notebooks. “What we have here is an open-and-shut case. It’s an exciting discovery,” Bambach said.
A notoriously slow painter, da Vinci made meticulous studies of the 3rd century saint and gay icon, typically depicted being tied to a tree, post or pillar with his body punctured with arrows. Art historians conjecture that a finished St. Sebastian painting by da Vinci exists but has yet to be “discovered.” Only 15 finished paintings are commonly attributed to the Italian master….