Nova: Mystery of a Masterpiece
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Presumably, the art experts at the international auction house have put their liability insurers on notice.
The claim presented in this DVD is so staggering and, psychologically, incomprehensible, that the art world has yet to assimilate or accept its import. Yet this claim is so utterly convincing that the owner of this portrait has allegedly already received an unsolicited, eighty million dollar (U.S. $ 80 million) offer for the purchase of this seemingly "priceless" painting, an offer which the owner declined.
The bidding has started - with an unsolicited bid!
This intriguing world-class art "find" contains other compelling attributes, e.g., if this portrait is in fact by Da Vinci, this is Da Vinci's only recognized work executed on vellum. The work is also executed in pastel. Da Vinci is known in the art world for his experimental and varied methods and mediums in executing his artwork - indeed, one of Da Vinci's most famous of his incredibly famous works, the "Last Supper," has deteriorated to near-total destruction due to Da Vinci's experimental medium in executing this work.Read more ›
The Nova: Mystery of a Masterpiece did not disappoint. I had read the original article in National Geographic regarding the mystery of La Bella Principessa (The Beautiful Princess), which is a portrait done in colored chalk and ink on vellum. Many of the details have lead several experts, including Martin Kemp to believe that this was an artwork of Leonardo da Vinci. I looked forward to seeing the Nova presentation.
The documentary gives both sides of the story with several experts testifying as to why they believe and why they do not believe that the piece could be done by da Vinci. It shows the forensic work which was done in order to look at the individual layers of the drawing, the damage done when removing it from a larger tome of material, the left handed brush strokes and several other interesting details.
After watching the video, I persuaded my wife (an art teacher for 5th grade students) to watch the video as well. After watching it, we immediately purchased the video so that she could show it to her classes. Her classes have been enthralled with the mystery of the picture and how they go about attempting to prove that it is a da Vinci portrait. They are often disappointed to find out that there is no definitive answer to the question "Is this truly a da Vinci work" but she incorporates that into her lesson and allows them to debate whether or not they think it is.
I would recommend this video to anyone interesting in Nova, da Vanci, art history or art forensics. Also, I would recommend it to any teachers looking for a video which shows some of the scientific method or an art teacher looking to share some art history and information with their students.
Overall a good start, but only a small portion of the story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful documentary. My kids love this show, ages 6 and 10. Whenever they watch it, they want to paint and create their own masterpiece. Great video.Published 4 months ago by Erica Shaw
I really enjoyed this documentary, but wish that it was available in a high definition format on disk.Published 15 months ago by G. Rhodes
This episode is a joint National Geographic-Nova effort that explores the process of tracking down the provenance, the origins, of a piece of art that was originally listed as an... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Thomas C. Fletcher
In my opinion, the one of the best single DVDs on art history. The Interviews with people in the related fields to fine art were very interesting, plus the amazing research that... Read morePublished on March 24, 2014 by planetutopia