Sunday 30 March 2014

Famous Leonardo da Vinci copy is on display in Florence until 29 June, 2014

The Tavola Doria, a famous Leonardo da Vinci copy, is on display in Florence until 29 June, 2014. The Tavola Doria is a copy, created between 1503 and 1505 by an unidentified artist, of the central part of Leonardo's lost mural painting, The Battle of Anghiari. Leonardo began the work on the original fresco in roughly 1503, on a wall of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. However, as with many of his works, Leonardo never got around to finishing it. In 1563, the redecoration of the Salone was handed over to Giorgio Vasari and Leonardo's work was lost. (Some say it might still be preserved under Vasari's fresco, either painted over or on a wall behind the present wall.)

Tavola Doria copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Battle of Anghiari
The Tavola Doria, a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Battle of Anghiari
The Tavola Doria was originally a part of the collection of the Doria d’Angria family of Naples who sold it in 1939. Although legally under the control of the Reale Soprintendenza alle Gallerie di Napoli, it left Naples in 1940 by clandestine means. In 2012, it was found in a bank vault in Switzerland, having been been sold in 1993 to the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum. The painting was donated to Italy under the condition that it be exhibited alternately for two years in Italy and for four years in Japan, during the next 25 years. The painting has been attributed by some connoisseurs to Leonardo himself, and currently some finger prints on the painting are being analysed in an attempt to match them with prints on other Leonardo paintings.

From July 2014 it will be in Japan, but if you're visiting Florence before that date, you can see this compelling work in the Sala delle Carte Geografiche (Hall of Maps) of the Uffizi Gallery, together with two other copies of Leonardo’s works, Leda and the Swan and Madonna with Saint Anne, painted by unknown 16 C artists.

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