Louvre May Have Found New Leonardo Sketches

Three drawings found on back of painting
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2008 1:49 PM CST
This undated photo provided Thursday Dec.18, 2008 by Le Louvre museum shows sketches on the back of a painting Leonardo da Vinci, which may have been drawn by the Renaissance master.   (AP Photo/E Lambert; C2RMF)
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(Newser) – Curators from the Louvre have discovered three sketches on the back of Leonardo da Vinci’s oil painting "Virgin And Child With St Anne" that may be by the master himself, the AFP reports. Museum workers noticed two barely visible sketches, of a horse’s head and a human skull, when the painting was being moved. Further examination uncovered a third sketch, of a baby Jesus and lamb.

"This is an exceptional discovery as sketches on backs of works are very rare and there is no known example of one from Leonardo to this day,” said a Louvre statement, which stressed that Leonardo’s authorship has not been confirmed: “While the style of the sketches evokes Leonardo da Vinci, research is continuing."