Italian art researchers say they may have found traces of a Leonardo Da Vinci work hidden under a Florentine fresco.
Tiny probes, sent through drilled holes in Giorgio Vasari’s The Battle of Marciano in the Palazzo Vecchio, found black pigment also used in the Mona Lisa, project workers claimed.
“These data are very encouraging,” said the project’s leader Maurizio Seracini.
However, art historians at a press conference in Florence stressed their research was “not conclusive”.
They added that further chemical analysis needed to be carried out.
“Although we are still in the preliminary stages of the research and there is still a lot of work to be done to solve this mystery, the evidence does suggest that we are searching in the right place,” said Maurizio Seracini, who works at the University of California in San Diego.
The probes also discovered red lacquer and brown pigment on the hidden wall.
The research has been controversial, with some art experts signing a petition to stop the investigation because the drilling is damaging Giorgio Vasari’s existing work.
Tiny probes, sent through drilled holes in Giorgio Vasari's The Battle of Marciano in the Palazzo Vecchio, found black pigment also used in the Mona Lisa
Tomaso Montanari, an art historian who has led the opposition to the research said that he did not “consider the source of these findings credible.”
He added: “What do they mean by saying the findings are compatible with Leonardo? Any painting from the Renaissance would be. Anything from that era could be painted on that wall.”
“What lacked here is a neutral team that has the scientific authority to evaluate this. It is very complex.”
Maurizio Seracini believes Leonardo Da Vinci’s unfinished The Battle of Anghiari lies beneath Giorgio Vasari’s work.
It is believed Leonardo Da Vinci started painting his fresco – which is considered by some to be his finest work – in 1504 but abandoned the project because of problems arising from his experimental oil painting technique.
The room was later renovated and Giorgio Vasari painted his fresco in 1563.
Maurizio Seracini believes Giorgio Vasari did not want to destroy Leonardo Da Vinci’s work and instead bricked it up behind a new wall on which he painted.
His theory was stimulated after finding a soldier on Giorgio Vasari’s work holding a small flag bearing the words: “He who seeks, finds.”
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard managed to score from roughly 100 yards away when his kick from inside his own penalty area bounced about 30 yards from the goal and sailed over Bolton Wanderers keeper Adam Bogdan’s head in a Premiere League match at Goodison Park.
U.S. international goalkeeper Tim Howard, 32, notched up a wind-assisted fluke goal last night – after making a clearance from inside his own penalty area.
In a strong wind, Tim Howard, Everton No.1, connected sweetly with the ball as it was rolled back towards him with the score at 0-0 in the home match with Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park.
But he looked on in bemusement as the 92-yard clearance is allowed to hit the ground by the opposition team and takes an enormous bounce.
It then loops handily over rival goalkeeper Adam Bogdan as he desperately stretches to reach it, before nestling into the back of the goal.
It was Tim Howard’s 1st professional goal in his 250th appearance in England, but he refused to celebrate.
Tim Howard told Sky Sports: “For the back four and the goalkeepers at both ends, there was an awful wind swirling. You could see everybody was mistiming balls.
“Defenders were missing clearances that normally they would put up the field.
“I let [Bogdan] know that I was feeling for him. It’s not a nice place to be. I’ve been there before, a long, long time ago, and that was why I didn’t celebrate.”
In a strong wind, Tim Howard, Everton No.1, connected sweetly with the ball as it was rolled back towards him with the score at 0-0 in the home match with Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park
Tim Howard becomes the second American goalkeeper to score in the English Premier League.
Compatriot Brad Friedel, 40, who now plays for Tottenham Hotspur, scored for Blackburn Rovers against Charlton Athletic in February, 2004.
The two other goalkeepers to score are Denmark’s Peter Schmeichel and England’s Paul Robinson – who has managed the feat twice.
They’ve all got some catching up to go with the world’s most prolific goalkeeper, Paraguayan Jose Luis Chilavert, who managed an impressive 52 goals for club and country during his career.
Bolton Wanderers went on to win the match 2-1.
Born: March 6, 1979 in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
Height: 6ft 3in
Made his professional debut aged 18 for the North Jersey Imperials in May, 1997.
Then signed for New Jersey MetroStars, for whom he made 88 appearances between 1998 and 2003.
Became the youngest player to win the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2001 at the age of 22.
Signed for Manchester United for $4m in 2003, but after initially doing well lost his position.
Loaned to Everton in 2006, and eventually transferred to the club the following year.
Won first cap for the U.S. against Ecuador in March, 2002 and was 1st choice goalkeeper at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
Tim Howard was awarded the MLS Humanitarian of the Year award in 2001 for his work with children with Tourette’s syndrome. He was diagnosed with the condition in middle school.
Artist Ron Piccirillo claims to have cracked a 500-year-old mystery surrounding the Mona Lisa – by spotting a series of zoo animals hidden in the painting.
Ron Piccirillo, an amateur oil painter and graphic designer based in New York, believes it is possible to see the heads of a lion, an ape and a buffalo floating in the air around the subject’s head along with a crocodile or snake coming out of the left hand side of her body.
He says he followed a series of instructions set out by the artist Leonardo da Vinci to decipher the image and claims his discovery cracks open the meaning of the work, painted in 1519.
The secret is that the Mona Lisa is actually a representation of envy.
The theory is likely to lead to controversy among art critics, many of whom having theories of their own about the painting and the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile.
Ron Piccirillo claims to have found similar hidden images in works by other Renaissance painters such as Titian and Rafael.
It was when he turned the painting on its side that he first noticed the lion’s head.
Artist Ron Piccirillo claims to have cracked a 500-year-old mystery surrounding the Mona Lisa - by spotting a series of zoo animals hidden in the painting
Ron Piccirillo said: “Then I noticed the buffalo and I thought: <<Oh my God>>. Then I realized I was really onto something. I just could not believe what I was looking at. I realized, <<this is what I’ve been looking for>>.”
The artist also said he had found either a crocodile or snake by following the instructions of Leonardo da Vinci’s journals.
Looking at the painting from a 45 degree angle from the left, the path that runs in the scenery behind the Mona Lisa appears almost serpentine.
This was supposedly where the angle of the light was best and led to the least amount of reflection. From a diagram in Leonardo da Vinci’s journals which explained this, Ron Piccirillo called it the “D-point”.
The instructions also called for the viewer to put their eyes on the same level as the horizon in the painting.
From this he was able to make sense of the line in the passage about how to paint envy which reads: “Make her heart gnawed by a swelling serpent”, as there is such a creature emerging from her right breast.
Ron Piccirillo then spent two months pouring over the Leonardo da Vinci’s journals before coming up on a passage about envy.
“It’s amazing because everyone thought that da Vinci never wrote about the Mona Lisa, but now it appears that he did.”
The passage in question talks about how the artist trying to paint envy must “give her a leopard’s skin, because this creature kills the lion out of envy and by deceit” – a reference to the hidden lion’s head.
Once Ron Piccirillo cracked that everything else fell into place.
He said: “This is really about viewing perspective. Imagine standing in front of an oval line drawing. It is obviously an oval, but if you view it from the left or right, at a large enough angle, the oval turns into a circle.
“This is the key to understanding how Leonardo and many other Renaissance artists hid subjects in their artwork. If you know to look for them, they are there.
“I don’t know why this has been missed for so long and I can’t tell you what it means – that’s one for the art historians.
“Da Vinci could have been using horses heads as some kind of religious code, but as to why they are hidden I have no idea.
“It’s not every day you spot something that has gone unnoticed for 500 years.”
Ron Piccirillo added: “It is not just in da Vinci’s works.
“I have seen these hidden images in works by Titian and Rafael and also all over the Sistine Chapel.”
Last year Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage claimed revealed that magnification of high-resolution images of the Mona Lisa’s eyes has revealed letters and numbers.
Infra-red images have also revealed Leonardo da Vinci’s preparatory drawings that lie behind layers of varnish and paint.
Leonardo da Vinci began work on the painting in 1503, and it now hangs in the Louvre in Paris in a concrete, climate-controlled bunker where she can only be viewed through two sheets of bulletproof glass set 25 cm apart.
The work, also known as “La Gioconda”, is believed to have portrayed the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
The title is a play on her husband’s name, and also means “the jolly lady” in Italian.
The fight to uncover Leonardo da Vinci’s hidden battle scene
A row between art historians over the uncovering of Leonardo da Vinci’s “hidden” but finest work is reaching a climax.
The Battle of Anghiari is believed to have been painted in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence underneath a 16th century fresco and has been the subject of an argument for the last 35 years.
The Battle of Anghiari is believed to have been painted in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence underneath a 16th century fresco and has been the subject of an argument for the last 35 years
To see if the painting really is there could see the destruction of the fresco and 150 art experts from around the world have been protested against the speculative work.
Last week a 2 cm cavity was drilled into the wall, according to the Guardian, and there were traces of an organic pigment found by a tiny camera inserted into the wall.
The work is being done by Maurizio Seracini who features in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.
The fresco that is currently in place is the Battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana by Giorgio Vasari and was painted in 1543, nearly 60 years after Leonardo da Vinci started his work.
The painting technique, used experimenting with an oil paint technique, was not successful and he abandoned the work, unfinished. Copies, however, have been made by other artists such as Ruben’s drawing which hangs in the Louvre.