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The Leonardo Selfie from the codex on the Flight of the birds


A newly discovered self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, only the second in existence at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The self-portrait was unearthed five years ago within the Codex on theFlight of Birds, one of only 20 of da Vinci’s remaining codices, which includes both text and 18 sketches of birds. It was executed in red chalk and depicts an unsmiling da Vinci at age 53. According to curator John Spike, the work went unnoticed within the codex for centuries because of lines of text that run across it. “It was not until five years ago that someone thought of digitally subtracting the image in red chalk.”

The show, which focuses on da Vinci’s fascination with the dueling concepts of beauty and ugliness, features over 20 precious drawings in addition to the portrait, including a study for Virgin of the Rocks (1483–1486). Eight works by da Vinci’s rival Michelangelo Buonarroti are also on display.

“To have this [exhibition], to see for the first time ever a newly discovered self-portrait of da Vinci makes this incomparable,” Aaron De Groft, the director and CEO of the museum.

On how a small college museum acquired the loan of such precious works from the renowned Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Biblioteca Reale in Turin, De Groft said: “The Italian museums respect the seriousness of our scholarship.”

The drawings were shipped from Italy with armed guards on a top-secret travel schedule in frames equipped with micro-climates and sensors linked to computers. On opening night, over a thousand William & Mary students lined up to view the sketches. The exhibition was conceived alongside the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which will be the second and only other venue for the show.


da Vinci’s other red chalk self-portrait Portrait of an elderly man (1512) was once hidden from Hitler and the Nazis due to an urban legend that it has magical powers that can grant great strength to those who lay their eyes on it. No word on whether or not this one possesses the same kind of power.




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11 thoughts on “LEONARDO DA VINCI’S Second SELFIE found! Does it have MAGICAL POWERS?

    1. I don’t think it’s a copy John, there was some pretty heavy duty scientific equipment used to find this sketch that had to subtract stuff via computer magic that was covering it up. It would be a copy of what? You know not everything that Leo or Micky D, as I call him (Michelangelo) was perfect, Leo is intently writing his codex, what he’s not allowed to doodle? why wouldn’t he do his own selfie while taking a break/ Everyone else today is snapping selfies of themselves, why not Leo too?

  1. The past was great, but it was not by any means perfect. Besides, I live in the present. As a Dutch artist I find the Italians too much steeped in romance anyway.

    1. C’est Vagner with youJesh Steigman, that too much focus is spent on the Italians in the Art history classes pumped out still be academia, tho the detriment of major, famous other artists off the times, especially the incredible numbered of artists that went to Central Europe and worked for
      King Mathias Corvinus,nwhobnot only built one of the most incredible libraries and established a university that rivaled all in medieval /Renaissance times.

      None of these artists were steeped in romance but survival and most were encoding their Art, which only implies how politically dangerous activities they found themselves in.

      Dutch art history was an extremely important influence on all that was done in the future, especially with van Eyck in the 1420s. And van Eyck was actually a spymaster and emissary and broker of many policital machinations.

      The present has cycled around from the past. The parallels of what was happening then and in the present are strangely the same.

      Thx for the opportunity to bring out these little known facts.



      1. I might tend to agree for those countries that are infiltrated by terrorists like ISIS and the taliban bu most of these items are huge statutes that would take an enormous amount of time and coordination to protect properly. This is in direct opposition to keeping elgin marbles because Lord Elgin was a border rich prospector and stole them because he could.


  2. I recently watch a movie based on a true story during WWII Hitler had the Nazi’s steal all the Art in occupied Countries in Europe at that time.When they were no longer going to win the War, ordered the art destroyed of which the Americans and Russians confiscated before all could be done. Were any of DiVinci’s works get destroyed? I realize this question may be difficult to answer according to the movie, considering that the Russians kept what ever Art they collected. My apologies if the questions I have asked have already been answered.
    Kind regards,
    Blu Rivard

    1. there’s been numerous lost art databases in existence, started, and pupated on a regular basis. I would suggest you just google “stolen art art databases” and I’m sure you will hit almost most of the ones existent in the world. I have published on this before. there is a big one in Germany stolen artde of something .de. just google as I say. the FBI maintains them so does Interpol

  3. because da Vinci was known to be ferocious thinker it is logical to think that while in deep thought he started to draw on whatever was before him – perfectly logical if your an artist

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