Study of Leonardo’s 1st landscape finds he had 2nd thoughts


ROME | The first-ever scientific analysis of a drawing Leonardo da Vinci made in his youth shows he added details to an earlier sketch.

In this photo provided by the Opera Laboratori on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, a drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci is observed after being removed from a briefcase which carried it from the Uffizi Gallery to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure where it will undergo scientific analysis, in Florence, Italy. First-ever scientific study of a Leonardo drawing done in his youth shows the artist added details to earlier sketch. The Uffizi Galleries said that 1473 “Landscape Drawing for Santa Maria della Neve” was taken on Thursday to a Florence restoration for scientific analyses. (Opera Laboratori via AP)

The Uffizi Galleries said the 1473 “Landscape Drawing for Santa Maria della Neve” was taken Thursday to a Florence restoration laboratory for study.

Uffizi director Eike Schmidt said initial microscopic examination shows Leonardo worked on the drawing in two separate phases, making it less likely it was a sketch of an actual place in his native Tuscany, as some have hypothesized, and that he used his imagination to later add details.

The Uffizi only occasionally displays the work, Leonardo’s earliest known drawing, because it’s fragile. But on April 15 it will go on display for five weeks in the town of Vinci as Italy marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death.