600-Year-Old Tile Has The Name ‘Da Vinci Leonardo’ Scrawled On It. Experts Debate If It’s Legit

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

Art historians claimed that an Italian family might possess Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci’s oldest piece of artwork, but some say it’s not the renowned artist’s work.

A family from Ravello, Italy, stumbled across a 600-year-old terracotta tile that depicts the Archangel Gabriel while cleaning their house, the Daily Mail reported.

The tile reads “da Vinci Leonardo” and “1471” written on the angel’s jaw. The family’s surprising discovery spurred a three-year-long investigation led by art historian Ernesto Solari and handwriting expert Ivana Rosa Bonfantino, according to CNN.

Bonfantino believes the handwriting on the back of the tile closely matches the work of the renowned artist. (RELATED: ‘There Is Too Much Money In The World’: Half A Billion Spent On Damaged, Questionable Painting)

“My hope is that it remains in Italy — it is part of our national heritage,” said Solari. “This piece is the earliest work of Leonardo and has his earliest known signature — it is priceless,” Solari added, according to CNN. (RELATED: Study: Your Mood Determines Whether Or Not Mona Lisa Is Smiling)

Italian scholars claim they have unearthed the first known piece by Renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci https://t.co/x9iLQChnVy via @CNNStyle pic.twitter.com/3Hxn1Q5xpK

— CNN (@CNN) June 23, 2018

However, other art experts discredit the claim, pointing to stylistic differences.

“The chance of its being by Leonardo is less than zero. The silly season for Leonardo never closes,” Martin Kemp, an art history professor at the University of Oxford, told The Guardian.  Kemp added that the angel’s hairstyle is not reminiscent of the artist’s other works.

Kemp’s claims follow an art buyer shelling $450 million in November for a damaged “Salvator Mundi” which was allegedly painted by da Vinci.

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