Presenting the Domitian, a newly discovered work of art signed L da Vinci.
Oil on canvas, lined, depicting the Roman emperor Domitian. 52 ½ x 40 ½ in, 133 x 102.5 cm. The painting is signed ”L da Vinci” with the underlined letters ”Pinxt” directly below. The paintings conservator who examined the signature states: ”nothing speaks against that the signature has been there from the beginning”. There is an inscription in the top-right corner of the painting: ”DOMITIANO.IM.XII”.
The painting is covered by a very thick darkened and oxidized dammar varnish which is partially blanched and obscures the overall look of the painting. It has been partially overpainted and has many darkened and discolored retouches. The varnish and the retouches result in a difficulty to fully see the image. The painting needs surface restoration.
Changes have been made on the original composition. For example, all the leaves we now see in the laurel wreath are painted over the original leaves. The newer leaves are more in numbers and have different shapes than the overpainted original leaves as one can see in the overlay image above to the left. The overlay image consists of an x-ray image of the head and a corresponding transparent image of the head laid on top of the x-ray image. Based on pigments found in the newer leaves the overpainting must have taken place after the early 18th century.
Click for enlarged overlay image