Tag Archives: Leonardo da Vinci

Lady with a Secret: A chalk-and-ink portrait may be a $100 million Leonardo.

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Possible Leonardo da Vinci painting
Possible Leonardo da Vinci painting

Story is from National Geographic.Com
By Tom O’Neill
Photograph by Gianluca Colla
Published February 2012

Bianca Sforza attracted few stares when introduced to the art world on January 30, 1998. She was just a pretty face in a frame to the crowd at a Christie’s auction in New York City. Nobody knew her name at the time, or the name of the artist who had made the portrait. The catalog listed the work—a colored chalk-and-ink drawing on vellum—as early 19th century and German, with borrowed Renaissance styling. A New York dealer, Kate Ganz, purchased the picture for $21,850.

The price hadn’t budged almost ten years later when a Canadian collector, Peter Silverman, saw Bianca’s profile in Ganz’s gallery and promptly bought it. The drawing might actually date from the Renaissance, he thought. Ganz herself had mentioned Leonardo da Vinci, that magical name, as an influence on the artist. Silverman came to wonder, What if this is the work of the great Leonardo himself?

That someone could walk into a gallery and buy a drawing that turns out to be a previously unknown Leonardo masterpiece, worth perhaps $100 million, seems pure urban myth. Discovery of a Leonardo is truly rare. At the time of Silverman’s purchase, it had been more than 75 years since the last authentication of one of the master’s paintings. There was no record that the creator of the “Mona Lisa” ever made a major work on vellum, no known copies, no preparatory drawings. If this image was an authentic Leonardo, where had it been hiding for 500 years?

Silverman emailed a digital image of Bianca to Martin Kemp. Emeritus professor of art history at Oxford University and a renowned Leonardo scholar, Kemp regularly receives images, sometimes two a week, from people he calls “Leonardo loonies,” convinced they have discovered a new work. “My reflex is to say, No!” Kemp told me. But the “uncanny vitality” in the young woman’s face made him want a closer look. He flew to Zurich, where Silverman kept the drawing in a vault. At 13 by 9¾ inches, it is roughly the size of a legal pad. “When I saw it,” Kemp said, “I experienced a kind of frisson, a feeling that this is not normal.” read more at NationalGeographic.Com

Note from the editor & chief:

Leonardo da Vinci is ranked among the World’s greatest artists. An artist who’s talent and merit has been proven over the centuries. Very different then, say, an unnamed heavy-metal screamer who’s tauted as being a great singer in the current society, then “dis-proves” it by not being able to “sing” at all at a sports game.

“By changing accepted rules and creating one’s own rules, one can fool the people for awhile, but eventually posers will be revealed.” Who said that?

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Columbus Day – Monday, October 10, 2011

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Young Columbus - Powell History.Com
Young Columbus - Powell History.Com

US History Encyclopedia Article from Answers.Com

Italian influence on American history can be traced back to the navigators Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. America’s founding fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, were familiar with the Italian language and culture and with Roman history. Jefferson was a supporter of the Italian physician and merchant Filippo Mazzei and encouraged him in the early 1770s to bring Italian vintners to Virginia. Though not successful in that venture, Mazzei became actively involved in the colonists’ struggle with England. Writing in the Virginia newspapers as “Furioso” he was one of the first people to urge Americans to declare independence and form a unified constitution to govern all thirteen colonies. Some of his phraseology later found its way into Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. William Paca, an early governor of Maryland, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Read more:

Italian Americans in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries a number of Italian-named missionaries such as Friar Eusebio Kino and Friar Samuel Mazzuchelli operated in present-day Arizona and in the Wisconsin-Michigan area, respectively. Though the presence of Italian individuals in the United States was sparse before 1850, Lorenzo Da Ponte, who wrote librettos for Mozart, taught Italian language and literature at Columbia University. In 1825 he produced his Don Giovanni in New York.

Italian style and Italian artisans heavily influenced the design of buildings in Washington, D.C. Constantino Brumidi painted numerous frescoes in the Capitol between 1855 and 1880. There was a modest migration of Italians to California during and after the gold rush. Many in this group became prosperous farmers, vintners, and business leaders, including Domenico Ghirardelli (the chocolate maker), the Gallo and Mondavi families (wine producers), and Amadeo Giannini (the founder of Bank of America) Read more:

Twentieth-Century Trends

The social mobility of Italian Americans was steady throughout the twentieth century. In the early years group members were likely to be the object of social work in settlement houses like Jane Addams’s Hull-House. They were likely to be victimized by sharp politicians and labor agents. The 1920s were prosperous times for most Americans and many Italian American colonies received infusions of capital derived from the near-universal practice of breaking Prohibition laws. Hard hit by the Great Depression, Italian Americans reacted by becoming part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Democratic coalition. The full employment of the war years and general prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s brought the vast majority of Italian Americans safely into the middle class. More precisely, a strategy of underconsumption, the pooling of extended family resources, hard work in small family businesses, and entry into unionized skilled and unskilled jobs earned middle-class status for the vast majority of Italian Americans. By the mid-1970s Italian American young people were attending college at the national average. Read more:

Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci - Vitruvian Man

Art from Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa

Interesting photo/story from the Official American Indian Movement Website

Churchill McKiernan FBI and AIM
Churchill, McKiernan, FBI and AIM
click photo for the rest of the story.

Churchill was an organizer/participant in the ongoing Columbus Day protests in Denver Colorado. The yearly protests have been attempting to shut down the Columbus Day Parade in Denver.

Information about Ward Churchill’s “Academic, Literary and Indian Fraud” from the Official American Indian Movement’s Blog.


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