The £10,000 drawing that turned out to be a £100 MILLION Da Vinci

Posted on 1:00 PM by Sameer Shah

As an artist, inventor, anatomist, engineer, mathematician and even a botanist, Leonardo Da Vinci was the ultimate Renaissance man.

However, it seems he may have had one more string to his bow - as a matchmaker.

Art historians now believe he is responsible for this 500-year-old pen and ink drawing, which was commissioned by a female Italian aristocrat to show to potential suitors.

Known as Nuptial Portrait of a Young Woman, it was sold for £10,000 in 1998 after being attributed to a German artist.

However, experts say it is looking 'more and more like a Leonardo work'.

This would push its value up as high as £100million.

Alessandro Vezzosi, the director of the Da Vinci museum in the artist's hometown of Vinci near Florence, said: 'The intensity, quality and purity of the work make the recognition of it as a Leonardo the obvious conclusion. The most telling clue is the left-handed style - which is typical Leonardo.'

He added: 'The detail in the eye is very limpid as Leonardo strongly believed in making the eyes look like the windows of the soul.

'It's very probable this work was commissioned by the lady in the picture and sent to a prospective groom to show off her beauty.'

Based on its style, the portrait is thought to date to between 1485 and 1490, when Da Vinci was living in Milan.

Mr Vezzosi believes it shows the Milanese aristocrat Bianca Maria Sforza shortly before her marriage to Maximilian I, the Holy Roman Emperor.

However, he said the work needs further investigation before it is fully accepted as authentic.

If this happens, it will be the most important advance in Da Vinci studies since the Lady With An Ermine portrait was attributed to the artist in the 19th century.

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