LA JOLLA, Calif. -- A camera no bigger than the end of a ball point pen, may be the answer to finding a lost Leonardo Da Vinci fresco “The Battle of Anghiari”, according to researchers.
On Monday, members of University of California, San Diego’s California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, the National Geographic Society and the Italian government revealed their analysis of a wall and fresco painted by Artist Giorgio Vasari.
Years ago, UCSD’s lead investigator Dr. Maurizio Seracini hypothesized that Vasari’s “The Battle of Marciano” had been painted on a wall purposefully built to protect and preserve the Da Vinci.
With the use of modern technology, researchers have further been able to investigate the Vasari.
“It’s a video endoscope, mounted to a little rod like structure which can be moved,” UCSD professor Falko Kuester said Monday. “The outside diameter was 4 millimeters.”
The Italian ministry granted permission to the team to collect data from six different locations on the fresco.
“The results that were presented today I think show 4 significant pieces of evidence,” said UCSD’s Assistant Director of Architecture and Archaeology Alexandra Hubenko. “That indicate that are we have been studying is worthy of further research.”
Researchers were able to verify a gap or small space between the Vasari and another wall. They confirmed through endoscopic pictures that a beige material on the original wall could only have been applied by a paint brush. And finally, they were able to gather organic materials that would have been used in paint 500 years ago.
“There was a particular area where some black pigments were found and the chemical analysis we conducted on those pigments indicated that those materials are very similar to materials and pigments that were found in the 'Mona Lisa' and 'St. John the Baptist' (both works of Da Vinci),” Hubenko said.
Researchers also found red pigment, something else Da Vinci would have used in his work.
“It feels like one step, one plateau of the mountain climb has been achieved, but we’re not at the top yet,” she said.