The discovery, in December 2008, of a painting representing the portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, has reopened an extraordinary debate on the characteristics of the face of the Tuscan genius, often identified in his physiognomy through the old man reproduced in the Royal Library of Turin in Italy. However, the painting found by Nicola Barbatelli was familiar with another identical portrait kept in the “Galleria Degli Uffizi” in Florence and celebrated until the end of the 19th century as a Self-Portrait-masterpiece of the Tuscan artistic genius. The painting, which for a long time has been identified as the “Lucan Self-Portrait”, due to its location in the “Museo delle Antiche Genti di Lucania”, precisely in Basilicata, was subjected to an intense and structured protocol of laboratory tests and examinations, promoted by six different universities in the Campania region.
This impressive scientific project at the end has placed the work between the period of four hundred and five hundred and has resolved the oldest doubt about the real features of Leonardo Da Vinci’s face; The study of historical documentation also made it possible to reconstruct the different movements of the same work from Tuscany to Naples and has also allowed us to trace the most recent places in the area of southern Italy.
Based on the diagnostic investigation, the process of reasoned criticism began and, after years of exhausting studies, the Lucano Self-Portrait (or Tavola Lucana) has been attributed to Leonardo da Vinci according to the most important specialists and the work has been presented in the most prestigious events of world art.