Jan 30, 2012

Da Vinci Code Redux

7:37 pm  This a live blogging event of a recorded show!  So only half live!  The show is Mystery of a Masterpiece, on PBS.
A chalk drawing on vellum of a girl in profile bought for a mere $22,000 may be a Da Vinci, which would make it worth more than twice that- like $100 million.  The art world is split as to whether it is real or not so a series of tests are ordered!  First the vellum is subjected to carbon 14 dating which reveals that it belonged to some unlucky calf that could have been contemporaneous with Da Vinci. A super high resolution camera reveals that corrections in the drawing are similar to corrections from other Da Vinci works.  A guy shows how to make a forgery of a Matisse.  We are shown other forgeries.  (this drawing must be a forgery or why would they show us forgeries?).  A fingerprint is found on the painting and it is inconclusive. (For pete's sake I'm about to have a heart attack).  The lines on the drawing gives evidence for the artist being left handed and guess who was left handed, yes Da Vinci was. They find a lady who knows a crap-load about 15th century hairdos and she thinks it is a rich person hairdo and who was rich then? yes Bianca Sforza the Holy Roman empress.  Holy shit how did they make that leap of logic?  I would have guessed Madison De Medici.
Anyway it turns out that the picture was ripped out of a book housed in Poland about the Sforza family.  One guy who didn't believe it was a Da Vinci now talks about eating a hat with salt and pepper.  Well that's the end.  I guess that even though they showed us a bunch of stuff about forgeries the painting is not a forgery which was very sneaky of them.  Also someone offers the guy $80 million for the painting and he turns it down, which is quite a reasonable thing to do.

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