Toronto — Mona Lisa has something new to smile about.
A portrait of a young woman thought to be created by a 19th century German artist and sold two years ago for about $19,000 is now being attributed by art experts to Leonardo da Vinci and valued at more than $150 million.
The unsigned chalk, ink and pencil drawing, known as “La Bella Principessa,” was matched to Leonardo via a technique more suited to a crime lab than an art studio — a fingerprint and palm print found on the 13 1/2-inch-by-10-inch work.
Peter Paul Biro, a Montreal-based forensic art expert, said the print of an index or middle finger matched a fingerprint found on Leonardo’s “St. Jerome” in the Vatican.
Technical, stylistic and material composition evidence — including carbon dating — had art experts believing as early as last year that they had found another work by the creator of the “Mona Lisa.”