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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Three near-invisible sketches behind The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne

The discovery of sketches behind The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne may give ammunition to those who believe that Leonardo da Vinci planted codes and religious symbols in many of his paintings. The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne has been accompanied by mystery before, however. Leonardo brought it to France with the Mona Lisa, when he joined the court of Francis I in about 1516.

Lovers of Dan Brown novels will be salivating at the discovery of three previously unknown drawings on the back of one of Leonardo’s major works. A curator spotted the sketches(An equine head and a skull, complete with orbital and nasal cavities with an invisible third ) on the back of The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne when it was taken down in September for restoration. An infra-red camera detected a third drawing, a 15cm-high infant Jesus with a lamb, which was invisible to the naked eye.

The skull resembles those in Leonardo’s other sketches, and the horse’s head is reminiscent of those in The Battle of Anghiari — a lost masterpiece known only because it was copied. The baby Jesus appears to be a draft for the figure in The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.

All art experts have agrred that there is no material here for a Dan Brown sequel. The Da Vinci Code is based on a theory that the figure on Christ’s right in The Last Supper is not the Apostle John but Mary Magdalene. It claims that Jesus and Mary married and have descendants alive today . See video on expert analysis via

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