A French doctor brought a previously unknown drawing of Leonardo da Vinci into Tajan auction house in Paris. The pen and ink drawing has been valued at $15.8 million and it is an original of the famous Renaissance artist.
Indiana Jones would be jealous
The now retired French doctor decided to bring his late father’s collection into an auction house in Paris, in March. The auctioneer said that the amazing piece was together with some other sketches which were unframed. Because of this, auction house director Thaddée Prate nearly went over it because he was in a hurry that day. Still, he later found it and asked for the opinions of some experts in the domain. They confirmed that the sketch was indeed a da Vinci original one and valued it at $15.8 million. Yesterday, they officially exposed it in Paris.
Many experts declared that they experienced a shock when they first saw the sketch. A curator from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art said that the discovery is “exciting” and undeniably one of Leonardo’s amazing works of art.
The sketch displays a study of the martyred Saint Sebastian, tied to a tree. According to experts, it is one of a series of eight such drawings. The saint is depicted bound to a tree, his muscles very detailed and his eyes and face turned towards the sky. The back of the drawing is also interesting. It depicts some other sketches but scientific ones and some fragments of writing. The one details which helped the curators identify the piece was the fact that they were drawn by a left-handed person. Leonardo da Vinci used mainly his left hand.
The owner is not interested in money
Details about the owner of the sketch are unknown. We only know that he is a retired doctor who lives in central France. His identity is protected and will most likely remain so even if he said that the value of the sketch does not interest him. He is reportedly not interested in money as he has other “interests in life”.
This Saint Sebastian sketch is the first major discovery of Leonardo since 2000. Back then, Sotheby’s discovered a study of Hercules made by him, in black chalk and pen. It remains to be seen if this sketch is going to beat the record for a da Vinci work. Currently, it is held by one of his studies of a horse and a rider, at around $11 million.
The da Vinci genius
Leonardo da Vinci was maybe the greatest genius of the world. He was a painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor. The Italian artist worked mainly during the Renaissance, with works like Mona Lisa being the most famous portrait of all times. Also, his Last Supper painting is the most reproduced one. He introduced new cultural ideas to the world, like his drawing of the Vitruvian Man which is now extremely famous. Apart from all of this, he was also an inventor with ideas long ahead of his time. This is maybe why many of them never saw the light of day, because it was impossible to do so.
Image source: here