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A portrait, possibly painted by Leonardo da Vinci, has been discovered in a Swiss bank vault.
The painting's legitimacy is being questioned after it was found in the vault among many other items owned by an Italian family, the Los Angeles Times notes from a report from Corriere della Sera.
The portrait appears to be the finished version of a sketch by da Vinci, currently being held at Paris' Louvre Museum, of Italian Renaissance noblewoman Isabella d'Este.
Da Vinci's sketch of d'Este is assumed to have been drawn between 1499 and 1500, while carbon dating estimates that the newly found painting is from 1460 to 1650, according to experts who talked to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
According to The Telegraph, Professor Carlo Pedretti, from the University of California, Los Angeles, told the Italian newspaper, "There are no doubts that the portrait is the work of Leonardo."
"I can immediately recognize Da Vinci's handiwork, particularly in the woman's face," Pedretti said.
Further tests done on the painting show that the pigment used was the same that Leonardo was known to have used, as was the primer from the canvas.
Professor Martin Kemp of Trinity College, Oxford, has raised doubts as to the portrait's authenticity, saying, "Canvas was not used by Leonardo or anyone in his production line."
Kemp added, "Although with Leonardo, the one thing I have learnt is never to be surprised."
image: Wikimedia Commons