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New portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci found, will be on public display to mark his 500th death anniversary today

The only other image is by his pupil, Francesco Melzi, created around the same time.

SNS | New Delhi |

Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian polymath of Renaissance whose areas of interest and work included drawing, sculpting,mathematics, science, music, literature, geology, botany, cartography and architecture among others.

Apart from being considered one of the greatest painters of all time, he is also credited as the father of palaeontology, ichnology and architecture.

Da Vinci, who epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal, is also considered to be the prime exemplar of the Universal Genius, an individual with- as Helen Gardner said- “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. He is widely considered to be one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived.

On the occasion of Leonardo Da Vinci’s 500th death anniversary, his newly identified portrait is going on public display in London for the first time at Buckingham Palace.

The drawing of a bearded man is believed to be one of the only two surviving portraits made during the artist and inventor’s lifetime, apart from self-portraits.

Martin Clayton was researching an exhibition for The Queen’s Gallery in London when he came across the sketch of Vinci. According to Clayton, he identified it as a study of Leonardo made by an unidentified assistant shortly before the artist’s death in 1519.

The only other image is by his pupil, Francesco Melzi, created around the same time.

Mr. Clayton of the Royal Collection Trust had said that if comparisons between both portraits are made, when the artist was about 65, strong similarities show to suggest that the newly found sketch is also a depiction of the artist.

“The elegant straight nose, the line of the beard rising diagonally up the cheek to the ear, a ringlet falling from the moustache at the corner of the mouth, and the long wavy hair are all exactly as Melzi showed them in his portrait.

“Leonardo was renowned for his well-kept and luxuriant beard, at a time when relatively few men were bearded – though the beard was rapidly coming into fashion at this time,” he said to the BBC News.

The art world in varying ways is marking Leonardo Da Vinci’s 500th anniversary through special editions of his work and other programmes.