Lost Da Vinci Priceless Painting Sells For 21K

10/17/2011 07:32 PM ET

Lost Da Vinci sold by Christie's auction house? Christie's auction house may have sold a priceless piece of art by Leonardo da Vinci for a little more than $21,000, according to researchers who claim to have identified the origins of the hotly debated painting. It's dubbed as the lost artifact.

The painting appears to have come from a 500-year-old book containing the family history of the Duke of Milan. Art historian Martin Kemp, of the University of Oxford, believes the mystery painting, which appeared in 1998, is a portrait of the duke's daughter, created by da Vinci for her wedding book.

"We knew it came from a book, you have the stitch holes and can see the knife cut. Finding it is a miracle in a way. I was amazed," Kemp told LiveScience. "When doing historical research on 500-year-old objects ... you hardly get the circle completed in this way."

In 2010, Kemp first suggested that da Vinci painted the portrait, and since then, art historians have debated over both its origin and the painter. In fact, several art historians contacted by LiveScience said they wouldn't comment on the piece or didn't return emails.

An earlier examination of the artwork by a gallery in Vienna led the director there to say it was not a da Vinci, and they are unswayed by the new evidence.

Salvator Mundi was another lost piece of artwork by Leonardo da Vinci. The painting was reportedly rediscovered, acquired by a US consortium of art dealers in 2005, and authenticated as by Leonardo. It will be exhibited by London's National Gallery in 2011.

The Mona Lisa painting now hangs in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. It was stolen on August 21, 2021 and returned to the Louvre in 1913.

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