Leonardo Da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks

Dog found behind Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks

FLORENCE, ITALY – Leonardo da Vinci painted a undiscovered dog into the background of one of his most iconic masterpieces to subtly condemn the corrupt papacy of his time, the Italian expert Silvano Vinceti said Thursday March 2, 2017.

Vinceti, the president of the national committee for the valorization of historic heritage, said a dog with a lead, symbolising faith in Jesus’s original message, had been detected behind the master’s famed Virgin of the Rocks in the Louvre.

The Virgin of the Rocks is the name used for the painting hangs in The Louvre in Paris. The painting is nearly 2 metres (over 6 feet) high and is painted in oils. It was painted on wooden panel, that in the Louvre has been transferred to canvas. The dog was detected behind vegetation in the backdrop of the masterpiece.

«That dog is an act of indictment by Leonardo da Vinci against the corruption of the papacy of the age,» said Vinceti. Vinceti, who was at the centre of the finding of Caravaggio’s bones at Porto Ercole and the remains of the model for Mona Lisa in Florence in recent years, said the discovery was made by Roberto Biggi, a researcher for the committee.

The dog was detected behind vegetation in the backdrop of the masterpiece. «We achieved this result with a new work (method), via the use of a mix of the most advanced technologies and simple instruments,» he explained.

The discovery consolidates an interpretation of Leonardo as the depository of a rigorous religious belief. «Up till today his paintings have been addressed from the standpoint of technique and painting style – Vinceti said – but we have lost sight of the fact that Leonardo, through the composition of his paintings, achieved a narration, expressed a thought that becomes image.»

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