If you've ever stumbled upon a long lost pair of socks you thought was gone in the laundry mix years ago, I'm sure you can imagine the degree of excitement of one of the Louvre Curators yesterday when they made a fascinating discovering of some unknown drawings on the back of a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. These drawings, found on the work, "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" (circa 1500)were accidentally discovered when the painting was unhooked for restoration as part of a program that was in the mix with the "Mona Lisa." The drawings found by the staff included a horse's head and half of a skull, and left the staff so surprised they almost wrote them off as stains.
This is an exceptional discovery because the Louvre had already conducted extensive testing on the back of the painting. After infrared camera photographs were taken, an additional drawing, portraying Child Jesus playing with a lamb was shown. Although these drawings are believed to be done by Da Vinci himself as they are of his style, drawings on the back of paintings are rare and Da Vinci did not partake in this prior. Further research will soon tell whether or not these drawings were done by Da Vinci.
Either way....talk about an early Christmas present at the Louvre. Maybe I should head over to the Schoonover Gallery and double check the backs of all the illustrations.