Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci by his unidentified assistant unearthed

da_vinci_portrait A statue of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan; inset, picture of the portrait by an unidentified assistant | Shutterstock

It is great news for Leonardo da Vinci fans across the globe, on the day that marks his 500th death anniversary. The second-ever known portrait of the celebrated Renaissance artist was identified from the archive in the Windsor Castle.

The portrait is believed to have been done by an unidentified assistant shortly before da Vinci’s death in 1519. The newly discovered portrait is the second one by another person to be uncovered, apart from the artist’s self-portraits.

The discovery was made by Martin Clayton, head of prints and drawing at the Royal Collection Trust, UK. Clayton is of the opinion that the second portrait must have been made during da Vinci’s last years in France while he was working for the French King Francis I.

In the portrait, da Vinci “appears a little melancholy and world-weary”, said Clayton.

It is decided that the portrait will be displayed for the first time in an exhibition which is to be held in the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. The exhibition opens on May 24 for the public. The exhibition will be a tribute to one of the greatest artists the world has ever seen and will be the largest display of da Vinci’s work in more than 65 years. The exhibition, named— ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Life in drawing’ will showcase 200 original drawings of da Vinci.

The other existing portrait of da Vinci was by Francesco Melzi, who was a pupil of the renowned artist.

Leonardo da Vinci, well known as an artist today, was also an architect, inventor, thinker and someone with a huge affinity towards scientific studies. A man, ahead of his times, da Vinci’s genius was sometimes incomprehensive to his 16th contemporaries. Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and Vitruvian Man are the most notable works of the artist.

The uncanny mysteries that surround da Vinci’s life is probably the reason behind world’s immense interest in him even after 500 years his death.