Reviews for Leonardo's Lost Princess : One Man's Quest to Authenticate an Unknown Portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci


Library Journal Reviews 2012 August #1

Art collector Silverman fell in love with a small portrait of a beautiful young woman, which he came to call La Bella Principessa. He became convinced it was by Leonardo da Vinci, and began a struggle to authenticate the portrait, inciting doubt and excitement in the art world. He carefully details his steps to discover the portrait's true origins: one, multispectral imaging, magnified and detected key elements unique to Leonardo's hand, including his fingerprint and palm impression. Silverman also determined the likely identity of the young lady as noblewoman Bianca Sforza. VERDICT A fascinating look at the inner workings of art attribution, the book takes a subject that could be dry and makes it breathe. Not only does Silverman make a convincing case; he may be pioneering the process for future authentications of works of art with the latest scientific equipment. Specialists will be interested because of the controversy La Bella Principessa has caused, and general readers will be interested because the possibility of finding a new Leonardo is a public event. Recommended.--Ellen Bates, New York

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