Using a tiny camera, the researchers snapped pictures of a telltale hollow space behind Giorgio Vasari’s “Battle of Marciano”—and a brick wall—in the Hall of the 500 in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s city hall. They also uncovered black pigment and lacquer used in painting—clues that the lost Leonardo may have long ago been saved from destruction.
The findings are inconclusive for now—the Leonardo da Vinci investigation was interrupted by political and public outcry—but they’re the first tantalizing leads in a mystery that spans more than four centuries. The lost work in question is “The Battle of Anghiari” and may stretch more than 20 feet (6 meters) long and 10 feet (3 meters) tall.
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