Leonardo da Vinci Paints The battle of Anghiari, Known as the "Lost Leonardo"
The Battle of Anghiari (1505) is a lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci at times referred to as, "The Lost Leonardo", which some commentators believe to be still hidden beneath later frescoes in the Hall of Five Hundred (Salone dei Cinquecento) in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. Its central scene depicted a fierce battle between two men riding raging war-horses.
A painting by Peter Paul Rubens in the Louvre, Paris, known as The Battle of the Standard, is believed to be a copy of a copy of the actual painting by Leonardo himself. Rubens made the painting in 1603, based on an engraving by Lorenzo Zacchia from 1558. There are several differences from the original, but Rubens succeeded in portraying the fury, the intense emotions and the sense of power that were present in the original painting. Similarities can also be noted between this Battle of Anghiari and the painting Hippopotamus Hunt he made in 1616.
Maurizio Seracini, an Italian expert in high-technology art analysis, believes that behind one of these murals by Vasari, the "Battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana" (1563), is hiding the original fresco of Leonardo da Vinci. On top of Vasari's fresco, 12 meters above the ground, a Florentine soldier waves a green flag with the words "Cerca trova" ("He who seeks, finds"). These enigmatic words seem to be a hint by Vasari, who always spoke highly of the fresco of Leonardo da Vinci.
Seracini believes it is unlikely that Vasari would have destroyed the work of his predecessor during his renovation of the Hall of Five Hundred. Using non-invasive techniques, such as a high-frequency, surface-penetrating radar and thermographic camera, Seracini made a survey of the hall. Among other conclusions, he found out that Vasari had built another wall in front of the east wall where the original fresco of Leonardo da Vinci was reported to be located. He found a gap of 1 to 3 centimeters between the two walls, large enough for the older fresco to be preserved.
Since early 2007, the city council of Florence and the Italian Minister of Culture have given the greenlight for further investigation. However, no new discoveries have been made yet.