The Pocket Picker For Fine ArtBook by PAWN STARS' Brett Maly

The Pocket Picker For Fine Art

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The Lost Leonardo

The Only Sculpture Known To Exist From The Hand Of Leonardo da Vinci


The sculpture, dubbed ‘Horse and Rider’ by world renowned Leonardo expert, Carlo Pedretti, was authenticated in 1985. The original bronze was made directly from a beeswax model sculpted by the great Leonardo da Vinci himself in 1508.

“It’s a great story of how this remarkable 500 year old art treasure has been preserved for generations to come,” Petty says. “For a beeswax model to survive for centuries is amazing,” Petty continued, “and to think, a work like this could have easily disappeared from existence.”

The history of the artwork is fascinating, complete with mystery, twists, and turns that saw it pass from several prestigious European collections to its being saved from Nazi looting during World War II. A five minute film has been made that documents the history of the masterpiece from its creation in 1508 to present day.

Plans to publicly display the work have not been completed at this time. “The sculpture has been placed in a bank vault for safe keeping until I can determine how best to share ‘Horse and Rider’ with the world,” says Petty, “for now I am content knowing that this masterwork is safe and that soon its incredible story will be told.”

About: HORSE and RIDER

An early maquette for an unfinished monument, ‘Horse and Rider’ features a rider in full military regalia on horseback. Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519 before he could complete the larger project, leaving ‘Horse and Rider’ to his star pupil, Francesco Melzi. The work remained with the Melzi family in Italy. It was later removed to Switzerland for safekeeping before the onset of WWII.

In 1985, world renowned Leonardo expert, Dr.Carlo Pedretti was called on to verify its authenticity. After his in-depth analysis, Pedretti declared in writing, “In my opinion, this wax model is by Leonardo himself.” Photos of the model appear in the Catalogue Raisonne of Leonardo’s drawings known as the “Queen’s Collection at Windsor Castle, Horses and Other Animals”. The beeswax model is also well documented in the scholarly work “Leonardo da Vinci; Scientist, Inventor, Artist” by Otto Letze and Thomas Buchsteiner.

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