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Rare find Suspected Da Vinci painting found in bank vault

A drawing of Isabella d'Este by Da Vinci, which the newly discovered painting is based on, is on display in the Louvre

(wikimedia commons)

A painting believed to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered in a Swiss bank vault. Until now, the 500-year-old portrait was thought to have been lost or never completed at all.

Italian media reported last week that the depiction of the Renaissance patron Isabella d’Este is owned by a family from Italy.

“The owners…divide their time between central Italy and German-speaking Switzerland and own some 400 paintings, the fruits of multiple acquisitions made by their ancestors,” the Italian newspaper Sette confirmed.

The painting, which measures 61 centimetres by 46.5 centimetres, shows d’Este, the Marquise of Mantua, in profile. According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera magazine, the work is "the faithful transposition of a famous preparatory drawing currently on view in the Louvre".

Professor Carlo Pedretti, a Da Vinci expert, told the magazine that he “recognises the exceptional style of Leonardo” in the painting.

Only 15 paintings have officially been attributed to Da Vinci, among them the world famous Mona Lisa, also on display in Paris’s Louvre museum.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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