By happenstance, I am currently reading a book of Renaissance history, entitled The Artist, The Philosopher, and The Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped, in which Leonardo figures prominently and was curious to see that a new painting has apparently been discovered, enriching the owner to the tune of some US$99,980,000 if all goes well at auction.
The discovery inspires an interesting Gedankenexperiment (thanks to Anu Garg for breathing new life into this great word through his delightful Word-of-the-Day e-mail):
Imagine for a moment that a superlatively great work were to be lost to human eyes immediately upon its creation, a statue even more impressive and beautiful than Michelangelo’s Pietà, say, or a painting on the order of Vermeer’s Het Mesje met de Parel. Imagine, then, that after several hundred years of absence from the historical record it were to…
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