|If it is by Leonardo da Vinci, the painting could be worth more than $150 million.|
TORONTO - A new portrait by Leonardo da Vinci may have been discovered thanks to a centuries-old fingerprint and palm print.
Peter Paul Biro, a Montreal-based forensic art specialist, said that a fingerprint on what was presumed to be a 19th-century German drawing of a young woman has convinced art specialists that it is actually a Leonardo.
Canadian-born art collector Peter Silverman bought “Profile of the Bella Principessa’’ at the Ganz gallery in New York on behalf of an anonymous Swiss collector in 2007 for about $19,000. New York art dealer Kate Ganz had owned it for about 11 years after buying it at auction for a similar price.
One London art dealer now says it could be worth more than $150 million. It would be the first major work by Leonardo to be identified in 100 years.
Biro said the print of an index or middle finger was found on the artwork and that it matched a fingerprint from Leonardo’s “St. Jerome’’ in the Vatican.
Technical, stylistic, and material composition evidence had the experts believing they had found a Leonardo as early as last year.