A painting that’s been hiding out inside a Scottish farmhouse may have been crafted by the legendary Leonardo da Vinci, according to The Lookout. If this turns out to be the case, experts estimate that the forgotten work of art could be worth around $150 million. Not too bad for a painting the owner wasn’t too crazy about in the first place.
“I showed it to him [auctioneer Harry Robertson] and he was staggered, speechless save for a sigh of exclamation,” explained Fiona McLaren, who admitted that she wasn’t too fond of the painting. She reportedly kept the picture tucked away in her house for decades before having it appraised.
The Daily Mail explains that McLaren’s father was a doctor, and received the painting as a gift
from one of his patients back in the 60’s. Upon his death in 1979, the possible da Vinci creation passed to his wife, who later gave the piece to Fiona as a 40th birthday present.
Presently, the Cambridge University and the Hamilton Kerr Institute are giving the painting a once-over to see if it did originate from the brush of Leonardo da Vinci. Even if the work wasn’t crafted by da Vinci, it’s thought to have been created by one of the artist’s students during the 16th century. The picture, according to various reports, may be a depiction of Mary Magdalene holding a young child.
Adding to the mystery is a piece of paper attached to the back of painting which may have originated around the 17th century. McLaren claims that the word “Magdalene” can be seen on scrap, which may ultimately help authenticate the picture.
What’s in store for McLaren and her unearthed artwork if it turns out da Vinci was behind its inception? The owner would love nothing more than to sell the piece to a museum. McLaren also intends to donate a percentage of the earnings she’ll receive should the picture head to auction.