2 updates below by Prof. Martin Kemp on his blog on the whole Bianca Sforza or Sally from the Co-op story, which is now looking more and more farcical. In my previous post I think I made it clear that I tended to lean towards Kemp’s side, and certainly don’t think that we should readily extend credence to the forger Greenhalgh. Kemp’s further thoughts below now bring me over more firmly to his side.
KEMP UPDATE 1:
Having changed my email and password, I can now get into my own blog. This is a revised version of the comment I posted:
More on the forgery daftness.
The motivation for the absurd claims is clear. Greenhalgh and the writer / filmmaker Waldemar Januszczak are promoting their book and film [as I also pointed out]. It is difficult to think that Waldemar really believes the claims to be sustainable. We have to believe that a 17-year old in 1978 knew more than anyone in the world about Leonardo, about his techniques, about the Sforza court and its art, about costumes and hairstyles at the court and about techniques of scientific examination then unknown.
Michael Daley of Artwatch spoke at the attribution conference he has just organised and continued to repeat his errors as fact. He is reported as saying that Leonardo only used parallel shading inside forms not outside them. This is wonderfully ignorant. In Popham’s The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci (only a selection) I counted 24 drawing with parallel hatching being used to create a background for the drawn forms, including No 215, the Vitruvian Man and 210-11 the Leda heads! He used it when he want to create a special degree of “rilievo” (relief), with the object standing out against its background.
One of the problems with much of the debate that is has been conducted by people using only online sources and not looking in details at the books written by Pascal Cotte and myself. The level of debate has been disappointingly poor.
KEMP UPDATE 2:
I have been looking at Jeanne Marchig’s testimony to the New York court on 17 Jan 2012.
She testified that “I had inherited the drawing from my late husband, Giannino Marchig (1897-1983), who was an art restorer and artist, and an expert in Italian Renaissance art. At that time the Drawing was in an antique ornate Florentine wooden frame, which it had been before I married him in 1955”.
François Bourne of Christie’s, rejecting the idea that it came from the Renaissance, as her husband and she firmly believed (though no mention by anyone of Leonardo), said that “your superb German drawing in the taste of the Italian Renaissance fascinates me. I think it is an object of great taste”. He advised her “to change the frame in order to make it seem an amateur object of the 19th century not an Italian pastiche”. The old frame (now disappeared), which looked like an Italianate mock-up from the 19th, was removed and replaced against Jeanne’s wishes, and she did not approve of its cataloguing as German, but she felt she “no choice but to accede”.
The date of 1955 rules out Greenhalgh (as do many other things), and works strongly against any other forgery theory, since the scientific examinations reveal features of which no forger could have been aware at that time. This applies to the scurrilous and unsupported identification of Marchig as the forger and to any other pre. 1955 forgery.
All that is left is for opponents to divert the argument into claiming that Jeanne Marchig lied profusely. She seemed to me to be a person of great credibility. I wish she were still with us to confirm the truth, which is evident to anyone who looks at the evidence with an open mind.
Compelling points there I think!
PS Meanwhile in Tokyo, a terrifying Leonardo “humanoid” (Reuters):
“Realistic”, they say? If I encountered somebody on the street looking as dodgy as those humanoids do, I’d cross over to the other side…