European Art

Leonardo’s Lost Princess

La Bella Principessa
La Bella Principessa, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, 1490s. Private collection. [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.
I just finished reading Leonardo’s Lost Princess by Peter Silverman and Catherine Whitney (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012). The book, which is completely non-fictional (and has nothing at all in common with Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code), is about Silverman’s discovery of a previously unidentified drawing by Leonardo da Vinci – La Bella Principessa. Silverman, an avid art collector, describes his experiences from his initial acquisition of the work  under a different attribution through the extensive authentication process and the fierce debate that followed. As with practically any authentication or re-attribution, a complete consensus has still not been reached, as some experts still do not accept the Leonardo attribution, though many others do. The ongoing debate and the complexities of the authentication process are what make this book so interesting, but they can also be a bit frustrating, as they rely so heavily on opinions and intangible qualities. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in connoisseurship and the authentication process. For someone who is not well versed in the ways of the art world, though, I think it could get a bit confusing and tedious or just seem plain unbelievable.

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Leonardo’s Lost Princess

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