I don’t think Mr. Penny’s advice in this interview is the basis for his opinions; but, he has been trained by a hundred years of art historical practice to talk to the public about art in an imprecise and unhelpful way. This work has been through a host serious scientific tests, including carbon dating and comparative chemical testing of pigments used in undisputed da Vinci paintings. These are not the kind of tools available to average museum-goers who Mr. Penny invites to “judge for themselves.” If he were a lawyer, we would expect him to say “Here is the compelling evidence for and against . . . therefore I am pretty sure it is attributable to da Vinci.” not: “I’m pretty sure . . . It’s weird . . . ask someone else.” It is a sign of our times that a trained scholar and Director of one of the world’s great museums would tell people to look at and interpret a Renaissance painting as though it were a 1960s drip painting.
Read the PostAssessing a “new” Leonardo da Vinci: Don’t talk to art historians about art