Sorry, Dan Brown fans, there is no missing Leonardo after all

World

Sorry, Dan Brown fans, there is no missing Leonardo after all

It turns out there is no painting by Da Vinci underneath that of Giorgio Vasari in Florence’s town hall

Nick Squires

For fans of Dan Brown, it had all the requisite elements of one of his thrillers — cryptic clues hidden in a Renaissance masterpiece, international art sleuths and rumours of a long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting.

For decades, scholars have speculated that Leonardo painted a vast battle scene on the walls of Florence’s town hall, only for it to be covered up by a painting produced a few decades later by Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari.

There were intriguing clues, including a flag in the Vasari painting inscribed with the words “cerca trova”, or “seek and you will find”...

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