The Martyred St. Sebastian – newly discovered drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, est. 1480s.

A 7.5 x 5” (19.3 x 13 cm) pen and ink sketch found by a retired French doctor among his late father’s collection of unframed drawings is believed to be by Leonardo da Vinci.  The work depicts the muscled St. Sebastian bound to a tree, hand and foot, eyes pleading towards heaven.  Da Vinci referred to eight drawings of St. Sebastian in his Codex Atlanticus (1478-1519), a 12 volume bound set of drawings, texts and scientific studies, and this sheet is believed to be among them – and one of only three that have been located to date.  This is the first new da Vinci to have been found since 2000 and has been valued at $15.8 million.  The discovery was announced earlier this week by the Paris-based auction house Tajan and has been corroborated by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Here is the full figure:

St Sebastian - 1480s - pen and ink drawing - Leonardo da Vinci

St Sebastian – 1480s – pen and ink drawing – Leonardo da Vinci

This is an exciting new discovery of an authentic double-sided sheet by the master (1452-1519), representing on the recto the full figure of the martyred Saint Sebastian tied to a tree in a landscape and, on the verso, notes and diagrams about light and shadow, which relate to Leonardo’s study of optics” (Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY).