March 1, 2009

Italian TV host finds Leonardo portrait

An Italian TV host and science journalist says he believes he has detected a self-portrait created by multitalented Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci.

Piero Angela said Friday he discovered the suspected Leonardo self-portrait in the artist's Codex on the Flight of Birds manuscript, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

''I noticed that there was a drawing by Leonardo hidden between the words on the 10th page of his codex,'' Angela said.

''After extrapolating the red-chalk portrait with the help a graphic artist, a portrait of a Renaissance man emerged. Given the similarity, I thought that this could well be Leonardo himself'."

Angela said a maxillofacial surgeon agreed the man featured in the discovered portrait could be Leonardo, who lived from 1452 to 1519 and gained fame as a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer.

The journalist cautioned that while certain scholars have informed him of the importance of his discovery, the self-portrait has yet to authenticated, ANSA said.