the past is never even past


“The past is never dead,” Faulkner famously wrote in “Requiem for a Nun.” “It’s not even past” — and nothing demonstrates that maxim better than the discovery of a “new” painting by a revered, long-dead artist. Suddenly, it is as if that person is alive and well again and walking among us. Art collector Peter Silverman had such a jolting recognition concerning a painting he saw in the late 1990s and again at a New York City auction in 2007. He was convinced it must have been executed by the one and only Renaissance master from Vinci — a story he relates, with Catherine Whitney, in “Leonardo’s Lost Princess: One Man’s Quest to Authenticate an Unknown Portrait by Leonardo da Vinci” (Wiley: 256 pp., $25.95). The painting that beguiled him — a 9-by-13-inch drawing in chalk and pen and ink — seems hardly dramatic: A young woman in profile, her brown hair bound in ribbons. Simple. Plain. Leonardo? Really?

more from Nick Owchar at the LA Times here.