Da Vinci art hidden under layers of whitewash found

Researchers have discovered new sections of artwork in a 15th century mural sketched by Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci, hidden under layers of whitewash in the walls of an Italian castle. The mural covers the vault and walls of the Sala delle Asse or Room of the Planks in the Sforza Castle in Milan. Restoration work on the Sala delle Asse has unveiled extra sections of the original work which depicts a garden pergola made of 16 mulberry trees bound together by a golden, knotted rope.

Experts agree the master’s hand can be detected in a monochrome section of the fresco, on the northeast and northwest corner of the room, depicting a huge tree root, stuck in rock. The work is part of the tree-filled decoration that was commissioned in 1498 by the duke of Milan, Ludovico Maria Sforza, nicknamed il Moro (the Moor) and was executed by Leonardo, who at that time was the court artist, and his assistants, ‘Discovery News’ reported.

“Large parts of this mural can be recovered beneath several layers of whitewash,” the Opificio Pietre Dure (OPD) the Florence based institute which is carrying out the restoration, wrote in a report. Preliminary analysis produced “quite interesting results,” lending hope that the work will recover “important parts of the preparatory drawings,” Marco Ciatti, superintendent of the OPD art restoration institute, said.

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