A portrait of Renaissance political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli in a French chateau may belong to Renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci, some art experts claim.
The director of the Chateau of Valencay, one-time seat of French diplomat Talleyrand, has asked for an expert opinion on the 55x42cm wood panel.
The painting, a portrait of a bald man that has been in the historic house for centuries, could be by the Renaissance master, although the evidence is far from clear.
A 145-year-old letter mentioning a portrait of the philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli by Leonardo was discovered last year in the archives of Château de Valençay in central France. The chateau once belonged to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the French statesman, who died in 1838 after serving under several French regimes, including Napoleon’s.
The director of the historic house, Sylvie Giroux, told Agence France Presse that “it is not impossible” that Leonardo painted the Italian political theorist, the author of The Prince.