"On a dévouvert
l'ADN de la Joconde."
par Veronique Prat
21 Oct 2006

Lumiere Technology
Nominee at the 2007
Press Release
29 Jan.2007

16th March 2008

By KELLY COMPTON March  April 2008



"Profilo Nuziale Di Giovane Dama"
"Profile of a young fiancée"
Portrait of the Bella Principessa
Leonardo Da Vinci*
Circa 1480 - 1490
3 mines  technique on vellum,
Black Chalk, Red Chalk,Chalk white.
Dim: 23,87 X 33,27 cm -
9,39 x 13,09  inches.
Strengthened with oak panel backing.



Lumiere Technology has digitized a
Leonardo da Vinci Discovery 

"Profile of the Bella Principessa" and led the researches from 3 years on it:

Published  July 5th 2008 in a monograph written by Allesandro Vezzozi "Leonardo Infinito"with introduction of Pr Carlo Pedretti

La vita, l’opera completa, la modernità
di Alessandro Vezzosi
Introduzione di Carlo Pedretti
Scriptamaneant Editzioni - Bologna, Italy.

then in 2009 by Pr Martin Kemp  and Pascal Cotte in a book "The Bella Principessa "
and and Oct 6th 2011 in  the reissue of Martin Kemp's book
( Oxford University Press)

Extract  of the notice about the "Profile of the Young Fiancée"
by  the Professore A.Vezzosi

download PDF

Extract of the Introduction
by the Professore Carlo Pedretti download PDF

Statement of Dott.Cristina Geddo
download PDF_

Statement of Dr. Nicholas Turner who was the first to identify the artwork to Leonardo da Vinci
download PDF_

Is this the greatest  art market discovery of the century ?
by Simon Hewitt , about 
Pr. Martin Kemp's statement.
12 October 2009
Simon Hewitt gains exclusive access to the evidence used to unveil what the world’s leading scholars say is the the first major Leonardo Da Vinci find for 100 years.

irtual reconstruction of La Bella Principessa inside the Warsaw's Sforziada

.To download (PDF) the complete scientific and  historic report  written by Pascal Cotte and Pr Martin Kemp click on the image

Historiquement Show "La Belle Princesse"
Pascal Cotte & Jean Penicaut interview  in Frenchnot yet subtitled  by Michel Field.


New Leonardo da Vinci Bella Principessa  confirmed

The origin of the Profile of the Beautiful Princess, Leonardo Da Vinci’s three chalks drawing, has been formally identified in its provenance, thus confirming its authenticity. This publication will be included in the reissue of Pr Martin Kemp's book "Leonardo" (Oxford University Press, October 6th 2011).

This study deals not only with the substance of the work, demonstrating Leonardo Da Vinci’s left hand (see Pascal Cotte’s film resuming his lecture at the Courtauld Institute in London on our website, http://dai.ly/dZj3yM  http://dai.ly/gTlOeX)

but also the drawing’s provenance. It is cut from one of the Sforziadas, the copies printed in the 1490’s, dedicated to the Duke Ludovico Sforza’s father and family. Each copy was illuminated with a differently illustrated frontispiece depending on the dedicatee .The copy, from which the vellum is extracted, is kept in the National Library in Warsaw. It was given at the wedding, in 1496, of Ludovico Sforza's natural daughter, Bianca, to his faithful Commander, and subsequent son-in-law, Galeazzo Sanseverino. Leonardo Da Vinci frequently stayed at the latter's house, for example during the preparation for Ludovico's own marriage to Beatrice d'Este for which Leonardo decorated the tents

By cliking on the image you can download a PDF the Sforza's family genealogy to understand the chronology of the Bella Principessa made by Leonardo at the Court of Milano.
 This copy subsequently became part of the collection of King Francois Ist of France and was given in 1518 to King Sigismund 1st  Jagiello of Poland for his marriage with another young Sforza, Bona.

By cliking on the image you can download the Sforziada's trip map   to understand the localisation of the 4 Codex after  1499

From there, it entered the collection of the Zamoyski family by descent. During the XVIIIth century the book was rebound, at which time the portrait was removed and framed. It later passed into the hands a Swiss art restorer, Mr Marchig who lived 30 years in Firenze. Mr Marchig’s widow sold it for $ 21,850 at Christie's where it was incorrectly described as a 'portrait, XIXth century, German ...

Today, the Sforziada from which the profile comes from is kept at the National Library of Poland in Warsaw. This amazing provenance is based on a thorough investigation through Europe’s greatest libraries, and confirmed by very eminent art historians including Professor Kemp of Trinity College, Oxford, one of the greatest specialists of Leonardo, and  the art historian D.R. Edward Wright, Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of South Florida, a specialist in illuminated Italian Renaissance manuscripts... This story is the object for a 52 minute long film made by NationalGeographic Chanel which will be released in early 2012.  The subject is all the more sensitive that an incorrect attribution was made by Christie's in 1998, resulting in a failed attempt by the previous owner to sue Christie’s in a New York Court.

Professor Kemp provided us with the following text:

‘In 2010, Martin Kemp and Pascal Cotte published a book, "History of a new masterpiece of Leonardo Da Vinci: The Beautiful Princess", about a unique profile on vellum, ink and three colour chalk. The portrait was sold by Christie’s in New York on January 30, 1998 described as a "German portrait, early 19th century (...) a girl in left profile, wearing a Renaissance dress". It was bought by the New York based gallery Kate Ganz for $ 21 850, and was sold back it in 2008 for the same price to the current owner, who had the intuition that it might be an original Italian Renaissance, portrait,and possibly by Leonardo Da Vinci himself.

The attribution to Leonardo DaVinci, based on  the multispectral scanning of  the Research Laboratory Lumiere-Technology, was confirmed in 2009 by six Art historians, Nicholas Turner, Carlo Pedretti, Alessandro Vezzosi, Mina Gregori, CristinaGeddo and Martin Kemp.

The main opposition came from the experts in New York and from some observers who had missed this attribution when the work was in the hands of Christie's and the Gallery Ganz, against the background of lawsuit at the Court of New York brought against Christie's by Jeanne Marchig, the previous owner who had consigned the drawing to the auction house for sale.

Through the knowledge of the original colours of the restored work, Martin Kemp and Pascal Cotte had tentatively identified the portrait as that of Bianca, the illegitimate daughter of Duke Ludovico Sforza, who was legitimized in 1496 and married to Galeazzo Sanseverino, Commander of the armies of the Duke. She died tragically a few months after her marriage.

Given the position and specificspace between the three stitch holes along the left margin of the parchment, Kemp and Cotte concluded that the portrait was originally set in a codex, probably one of the four luxurious printed copies given at key dates of life at the Sforza's Court, at the birth of a child, or their marriage. With this assumption, thanks to the Art historian David Wright, further research  works led by Kemp and Cotte show that the portrait was taken from the Sforziada, the  eulogy for Francesco Sforza (father of the Duke) written by Giovanni Simonetta, printed on vellum and kept in the National Library ofPoland in Warsaw.

The volume was specially made for the wedding of Bianca andGaleazzo in 1496. Cotte and Kemp show that the corresponding page was removed at some unknown date from the book of Warsaw, probably at the time of rebinding of the codex and the vellum of the portrait is fully consistent with the physical characteristics of pages.


The spacing of the holes bound in the portrait’svellum match with those of the book. And the composition of the parchment with the book’s vellum is identical'.

The technical analysis  show that the portrait was placed after the introductory text of the book and before the illuminated frontispiece dedicated to the person to whom it wasintended.

"Now we can be sure that the portrait depicts Bianca Sforza, inhonour of the celebration of her marriage in 1496, and that Leonardo was the artist: the book is dated and the provenance confirmed. there is only one artist working at the Sforza’s Court who drew with his left hand, Leonardo Da Vinci. This discovery should put an end to the controversy



Media Contact Lumiere Technology :
Jean Penicaut, +33 6 85 94 57 70 mailto: