The recently discovered chalk drawing of Jesus Christ has prompted speculation that the artwork may have been created by none other than Leonardo, according to researchers who have studied the artist’s works.
Currently in the possession of two collectors from Lecco, Italy, the drawing is believed to be the unfinished work of Leonardo as a result of several similarities to his confirmed works, especially as it was sketched with the red chalk he is famously known for using.
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Annalisa Di Maria, an art historian who has studied the image, told The Telegraph that other characteristics that confirmed the links to Leonardo include the drawing style of Jesus’ eyes and beard, both of which match up with the artist’s own self portraits.
Additionally, the subject’s posture is in line with Leonardo's frequent use of three-quarter perspective, in which he drew figures from a side angle, as is seen in the “Mona Lisa” painting and in “The Head of the Virgin” drawings.
“It is a remarkably beautiful and refined work, and I'm absolutely convinced it is a sketch by Leonardo,” di Maria said. “It has that dynamism and sense of movement that is typical of Leonardo.”
Laboratory tests have also indicated that the paper reportedly dates back to the early 16th century, at which time Leonardo, who was born in 1452, is believed to have been in the midst of creating the “Mona Lisa.”
It’s presently unclear where the artwork had been stored and whose possession it had been in throughout the years before it was eventually discovered in a Lombardy bank vault.
A group of art historians are expected to hold a news conference and release a detailed, 60-page study of the work in Florence, Italy, in the following months after officials are able to curb the spread of COVID-19.