The last several days have seen the media and the population focusing their attention to the developments concerning the hunt for the lost mural La battaglia di Anghiari or Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci in the Salone dei Cinquecento in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio.
The work done by Maurizio Seracini, an Italian engineer, and his team, confirm the thesis of the alleged presence of the painting hidden behind the fresco by Giorgio Vasari “The Battle of Marciano”.
Reading the works of Vasari, it would seem that he may have preserved the da Vinci painting and that it may be on the eastern wall, since in the other one there were four big windows at the time of Da Vinci’s work.
The history begins when Leonardo was commissioned by the gonfaloniere Pier Soderini to paint the Battle of Anghiari (1440), celebrating the pride at the important victory of the Florentine troops against Milan which at that time made Florence the most powerful city in central Italy.
The work, dating back to 1503, was never completed by Leonardo who experimented with new fresco methods and materials; not turning out as he expected, he later abandoned the project completely.
Sixty years later, Giorgio Vasari was commissioned to repaint the whole Salone dei Cinquecento, and records say he preserved “The Leonardo” either by building a new wall on which he started his new work or by hiding it below a plastering. He was a really intelligent artist and a big admirer of the Leonardo the Genius.
“The Battle of Anghiari”, by Rubens copying Leonardo’s drawings, Louvre, Paris
Researchers drilled small holes in the Vasari painting and with the help of micro-cameras discovered a black pigment which seems to be the same used by Leonardo on both the Mona Lisa and St. John the Baptist.
They also found red flakes and a beige material applied on the wall with a paintbrush.
Moreover, a gap was also discovered between the wall on which Vasari painted his fresco and the original one. So is it possible that the lost mural is really there?
The hunt is still in progress with approval of Matteo Renzi, Florence’s mayor, who assures the public that Vasari’s work will be preserved.
If the lost Battle of Anghiari was really behind the Vasari fresco, it would happen to be the most important cultural event of these years which would reconfirm Florence as the richest city of the world in terms of its history. Is there anyplace else that can offer such excitement?
Don’t forget we are talking about Leonardo da Vinci, the genius of geni, known all over the world and incomparable in terms of fame. Don’t you think?
About Sara Turini
Social media addicted, keen on travels, in love with my land, Tuscany. Sara has decided to share all the emotions this region can offer through her posts on our blog.