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Newly discovered work by Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo: Discoveries from Verrocchio's Studio.

NEW YORK, NY.- In the Worcester Art Museum, which is based in Massachusetts, a Renaissance painting, has been hanging for the past two decades. Since the painting was first discovered, it wasn’t considered terribly remarkable, and was first attributed to a lesser Florentine artist of the period, namely Lorenzo di Credi.

With some more investigation, Laurence Kanter, the chief curator of the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, now believes that the artwork belongs to a more famous artist, specifically Leonardo da Vinci.

Kanter noticed that the painting that was commissioned in 1475 actually bears many of the trademark stamps of da Vinci, and it has convinced him that it was some of the legendary artist and inventor’s earlier work. Kanter has told reporters that he believes at least da Vinci completed half of the painting, and the rest finished by Lorenzo.

The reason for the misunderstanding or the mystery of who actually created the painting is due to the fact that it was still in da Vinci’s earlier years, and that he hadn’t yet reached his artistic maturity at the time.

Kanter has stated, “We have assumed that a thing by him has to look like his late works, and that he therefore had no beginnings. That, of course, is totally implausible.” He added, “I do think it’s an early work by Leonardo, that there are at least seven other paintings around the world to be recognised at least in part by him, as part of his training in Verrocchio’s workshop.”

The painting was first created for the cathedral of Pistoia, located in Tuscany. It depicts a Saint, Donatus, offering assistance to a tax collector. The collector has been accused of theft, and Donatus is helping him find money that was hidden after the Saint’s wife had passed away.

The piece of work was intended as an altarpiece and was created in the memory of Bishop Donato de’ Medici. It was originally commissioned by Andrea del Verrocchio, who owned the workshop that both Lorenzo and Leonardo were apprentices.

The Future for The Artwork
Since the discovery, Kanter intends to add the painting to this year’s major summer exhibition, which will be titled, “Leonardo: Discoveries from Verrocchio’s Studio.” Kanter believes that the right-hand figure on the painting is Leonardo’s work due to its, “perfectly realised” features, with flecks of light on bright lining on the clothing that mirrors da Vinci’s other works.

The painting has been hanging in Worcester for a number of decades, and is part of the local community known for its tourism, and for attracting visitors looking for both old and the new, from the art at the museum to something more modern like Bingo Canada.

The figure on the right, however, is attributed to Lorenzo. Kanter describes Lorenzo’s figure as, “flat,” and that the draperies simply don’t work, although he says that the torso and head may be the work of Leonardo.

There has been extensive research into the painting, primarily done by Worcester chief conservator, Rita Albertson, along with chief curator of French national museums, Bruno Mottin.

Albertson has stated that the paining was once part of a larger collection that was donated to the Worcester museum by a series of local benefactors.

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