A damaged portrait of Leonardo da Vinci that experts are dating to the 16th century has been discovered in a hill town in Basilicata, southern Italy, The Times reported on Monday.
Nicola Barbatelli, a medieval historian, came across the 24×17 inches oil painting while he was studying the picture collection of a family in Acerenza. The image shows the Renaissance genius in a three-quarter profile and wearing a hat.
Barbatelli said the painting could be a self-portrait, since it bore on the back the words “Pinxit Mea” written in reverse, which was one of artist’s trademarks.
Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci at Vinci, said the painting could be by Cristofano dell’Altissimo, who painted another Leonardo portrait in a similar style in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
The painting will undergo more tests to determine its origins.