da Vinci portrait uncovered in Rome

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Professor Alessandro Vezzosi, Director of a Leonardo da Vinci museum in Vinci, left, and medieval historian Nicola Barbatelli, right, look at a previously unknown portrait of Leonardo da Vinci during a meeting with the press, in Rome, April 2, 2009. The painting displayed at a news conference in Rome was discovered in December in the collection of a family from Italy&#39;s southern Basilicata region. Who made the painting and when it was done is still being investigated, but experts have ruled out it is a self-portrait. At center is Barbatelli&#39;s lawyer Gianni Glinni. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Gregorio Borgia&#41;</span></div>
April 3, 2009 6:47:38 AM PDT
A previously unknown portrait of Leonardo da Vinci shows the artist and inventor as a middle-aged man with piercing eyes and long, flowing hair.

Experts unveiled the painting at a news conference in Rome. A medieval historian says it was discovered in December in the collection of a family from southern Italy. Who may have painted it and when is not yet known, but experts have ruled out it being a self-portrait.

The historian says carbon-14 analysis of the wood supporting the canvas dates the material to the late 15th or early 16th century, when Leonardo da Vinci(1452-1519) was alive. However, experts caution that doesn't necessarily mean the portrait was painted at that time. They are conducting more tests.

The director of a museum dedicated to Leonardo in his hometown of Vinci says the painting is consistent with the depiction of the artist found in a 17th-18th century portrait kept at a gallery in Florence.

The newly discovered portrait is damaged by scratches. It is 24 by 18 inches and shows Leonardo wearing dark robes and a black, feathered hat.

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