Woman Says Christie's Misattributed a Da Vinci, Costing Her $150 Million





A Swiss woman says she is "devastated" because Christie's misattributed a consigned drawing as a 19th century German imitation of Renaissance art and sold it at auction for less than $20,000. Art historians and forensic experts now believe Leonardo da Vinci drew the ink portrait and valued it at more than $150 million, according to her complaint in Federal Court.

Jeanne Marchig claims she told Christie's that her late husband, Giannino, "a well-known art restorer with considerable expertise in Renaissance art," suspected the pen-and-ink portrait was drawn by Domenico Ghirlandaio, a teacher of Michelangelo. Ghirlandaio was apprenticed under the same master at the same time as Leonardo da Vinci, according to the complaint.

Francois Borne, Christie's resident expert for Old Master drawings, examined the piece for 15 minutes and "summarily rejected" the Renaissance provenance, according to the complaint.

Marchig's attorney, Richard Altman, translated the letter in French that Borne wrote to Marchig, in which he claims the drawing was done in the 19th century by an anonymous German artist....


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