Validating the Principessa

Art historians around the world are never quick to validate a "lost" work by one of the great masters. Thus is the case of La Bella Principessa, a small, "pen-and-ink portrait of a Florentine woman with a Mona Lisa-esque smile," believed to have been created by Leonardo da Vinci. (photo)

For over a year, Martin Kemp, a world-leading da Vinci scholar, has been "interrogating" the little princess using all the modern tools in the box, including x-ray and infra-red imaging, "multispectral" 300 megapixel cameras, and radiocarbon dating, as well as tried-and-true methods of brushstrokes, composition, and details of the clothes.