Fri, December 19, 2008
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Sketches behind da Vinci painting

2008-12-19 08:42:58 GMT2008-12-19 16:42:58 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

A curator at the Louvre Museum in Paris has stumbled upon some unknown drawings on the back of a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that look like they might be by the Italian master himself, the Louvre said on Thursday.

SCRIPT:

MORE INFO: Detailed tests and infra red photography revealed three distinct drawings--- a horse's head, a part of a skull and an infant Jesus playing with a lamb.

The extraordinary find was made by chance, when Louvre staff unhooked Leonardo's "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" from the museum wall as part of a broad program of study and restoration of paintings by Leonardo, including the "Mona Lisa."

STORY:

When staff at the Louvre Museum in Paris took down this da Vinci painting " The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" for a routine examination, they weren't expecting this:

Faint sketches-- barely visible to the naked eye, drawn on the back of the 16th century oil painting.

Its an exceptional discovery, says the museum----drawings on the back of paintings are rare and none have been attributed to da Vinci.

Detailed tests and infra red photography revealed first two, and then three distinct drawings.

The museum says the drawings recalled some of da Vinci's known works, but further research is required to prove the sketches were drawn by the Italian master himself.

(Agencies)

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