August 27th view only known Leonardo da Vinci Sculpture at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
By Marise J. Jolie
Beverly Hills, CA (Hollywood Today) 8/3/12 “Perfect, perfect, perfect,” says Professor Carlo Pedretti upon examination of recently discovered Leonardo da Vinci Sculpture, Horse and Rider in May 2012. What he saw was a first generation bronze sculpture that was cast from a mold made from a beeswax hand-carved sculpture by the renaissance master over 500 years ago. A formal invitation-only unveiling for media and special guests will be held at the Historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills on August 27th.
This never before seen sculpture, has been authenticated by Pedretti, the world’s leading authority on da Vinci, and an esteemed Professor Emeritus of Art History, the Chair of Leonardo
Studies at UCLA, and has authored more than 50 books and at least 700 scholarly articles and essays on the life and works of da Vinci.
For over 25 years, the art owner, engineer and real estate businessman, Mr. Richard Lewis had kept the irreplaceable mold safe and carefully pondered its future when he decided it is time to share this masterpiece with the world and raise money to help people in need. The mold was restored and cast in bronze at the American Fine Arts Foundry in Burbank, California. Mr. Lewis joined forces with longtime Art Broker, Rod Maly and Certified Fine Art Appraiser, Brett Maly of Art encounter in Las Vegas and together they are creating an unprecedented limited edition offering of the sculpture to the public. Mr. Lewis has agreed to donate one million dollars to The Salvation Army based on sales of the edition. The sculpture, with base, measure approximately 12” long, 12” high and 7” wide–identical to Leonardo’s beeswax original-and weigh roughly 18 pounds.
The Provenance dates back over 500 years. Circa 1508, Leonardo sculpts a Renaissance figure in military regalia on a horse from a block of solid beeswax for his friend and benefactor, French military governor, Charles d’Amboise. The beeswax study was presumed to be a model for a larger, never-completed monument of the governor. After his death in 1519, Leonardo’s star pupil, Francesco Melzi, inherited the sculpture along with the rest of Leonardo’s effects. It is believed to have remained with his family, in Italy, until the 1930s when it was taken to Switzerland, for safekeeping, as World War II broke out.
Fast forward to 1985, a group of businessmen traveling to Switzerland are shown the hand-carved sculpture in beeswax. Intrigued, they contacted the foremost authority on the life and works of Leonardo, Dr. Carlo Pedretti to authenticate the work. Following a thorough examination of the beeswax, on July 10, 1985, Prof. Pedretti proclaimed in writing, “In my opinion, this wax model is by Leonardo himself,” and dubbed the one-of-a-kind sculpture Horse and Rider.
Photos of the beeswax model appear in the Catalogue Raisonné of Leonardo’s drawings known as the Queen’s Collection at Windsor Castle, Horses and Other Animals. The beeswax model is also well documented in the scholarly work Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist by Otto Letze and Thomas Buchsteiner. In Leonardo: Discovering the Life of Leonardo da Vinci French author Serge Bramly discusses the genius’s lifelong interest in horses and how they moved.
Based on the authentication, they decided it was imperative to create a mold from the delicate wax sculpture to preserve the work and honor the artist’s intent. And the rest is history in the making, as they say.