December 20, 2008

Suspected Leonardo sketches uncovered

The Louvre Museum in Paris said it has uncovered several sketches potentially created by Italian Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci.

The internationally renowned museum said the sketches of a horse head, part of a skull and a baby Jesus paired with a lamb were found on the back of Leonardo's The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne painting, the BBC reported Friday.

The Louvre said the discovery of the sketches was exceptional given that they apparently represented a previously unknown example of the artist's skills.

This is an exceptional discovery because drawings on the back of paintings are very rare and no example by Leonardo was previously known, the museum said.

The style of the drawings recalls the style of Leonardo, but research is ongoing to clarify their authorship.

The BBC said the sketches were found by a curator who had taken the painting down from its Louvre perch for unspecified reasons.