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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Friday, February 18, 2005
EXPERTS ASK: IS FINGERPRINT IN PAINTING da VINCI'S?
ROME---
It's an artistic mystery whose hottest clue
is a fingerprint.

"The Adoration of the Christ Child" is attributed
to Fra Bartolomeo, but a newly discovered fingerprint
in the paint, along with stylistic similarities,
are making experts think of Leonardo da Vinci, who
sometimes left an imprint on his works as a sort of
signature.

Near the completion of the painting's year long restoration,
"a king of yellowish halo could be seen in the sky in the
upper left", the chief restorer, Elisabetta Zatti,
said Tuesday, describing the fingerprint she found.

Attribution of the painting has long been in question,
and some illustrations names have come up through the
centuries -- Raphael, Ghirlandaio, Lorenzo di Credi.

The key may lie in Krakow, Poland, where a Leonardo
master piece, "Lady with an Ermine", bears the Renaissance
master's fingerprint. Photos of the "Adoration" will be
flown there next month for comparison.

Hands a hallmark of Leonardo

Leonardo was big on code. He wrote backwards in his
notebooks and used such symbols as wild primrose,
which represnets resurrection, and the blue veronica flower,
symbol of the eyes of the Virgin Mary, Primrose and veronica
have shown up in the restored "Adoration".

The work, hanging in Rome's Galleria Borghese, is believed
to have been painted in the late 15th century or early 16th
and depicts Joseph and Mary gazing down at the infant Jesus.

Perhaps the msot striking revelation are Mary's large and
somewhat masculine hands, a hallmark of many female figures
in Leonardo's work.

Alessandro Vezzosi, the director of a museaum dedicated to
Leonardo near Florence who was not involved in the restoration,
said the discovery was interesting, but cautioned that more
research was needed.

(abstracted from CHISUNTIME/
Associated Press/ Marta Falconi)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:05 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
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