The Easel

17th October 2017

The incredible story of how the last known work of Leonardo da Vinci was almost lost forever

All eyes will be on the Christie’s NY saleroom next month when the only privately owned da Vinci painting goes for sale. The story of its re-discovery and authentication is fascinating but so are subsequent events. Once confirmed as genuine, it was sold twice – both times leading to law suits. Assuming it reaches the expected $100m its current owner, a “divorced oligarch”, will have lost on the deal!

10th October 2017

The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art

Vasari was a fearsome gossip. His saving grace was that in 1550 he wrote a book on Italian art and artists that established art history. Artists were viewed as merely skilled labourers but Vasari argued that authorship was all-important. “When Francis I … could write to Leonardo [Da Vinci], Raphael, Michelangelo and humbly request something, anything, by their hand, it marked a drastic change from old ways of