“The Battle of Anghiari,” Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, was thought to be lost forever. We only know what this fresco looked like from Leonardo’s sketches and from later copies, but the art detective Maurizio Serracini, an Italian engineer leading a research in Palazzo Vecchio for the National Geographic Society and the University of California San Diego’s Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3), thinks he has solved this mystery.
His team announced that the red, black and beige paint found under a more recent fresco by Giorgio Vasari in the old Tuscan building are just like the pigments used by Leonardo in his artworks. Mr. Seracini was inspired by the words “Cerca, trova” (“seek and you shall find”) that were painted on a tiny flag in Vasari’s painting. Although Vasari’s fresco depicts a different battle, it is thought to have been painted on the same wall as Leonardo’s war scene, which Vasari saved by leaving an air space between the two works.