la belle ferroniere

I read a few years ago of the sale of a purported Leonardo ,  alleged to be a version of the painting in the Louvre, held by an American which came into his family with his french war bride as a wedding present.  It had been controversially discredited by the great dealer Duveen through a photograph, and much later by scientific dating techniques but was still an old painting replicating Leonardo, not a modern fake  I was interested in how Duveen visually identified that it was not by Leonardo from a photograph. While this post starts with a bit of history it is still about how a work came about.

Assuming Duveen to know the Louvre’s painting I did a large watercolour study from a web image, and one from the study in the USA.

and then of the later version:


at this stage I thought that the opinion of Duveen was right from the subtle colour use and delicacy of modelling seen in the Louvre version but I still wanted a tighter comparison so took it a step further with a cutter blade…

in the process of direct comparison....

and continued to work on it until the images meshed (as I could not leave it so conventionally), to arrive at the composite thus:

les belles ferroniere 2010


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