The Mystery of Worcester's Leonardo

Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo di Credi, A Miracle of Saint Donatus of Arezzo, about 1479, painting on panel

March 10 - June 3, 2018

This exhibition will bring together two early Italian panel paintings for the first time since they were separated from their original altarpiece: the Annunciation at the Musée du Louvre and WAM's Miracle of San Donato.

Research on the Worcester picture has been conducted by Rita Albertson, Chief Conservator at WAM, with contributions by Laurence Kanter, Chief Curator and Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art, Yale University Art Gallery. Bruno Mottin, scientist at the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF) in Paris has performed equivalent research on the Louvre's painting, providing a remarkable opportunity for comparative study. Using information derived from technical research to inform judgments of connoisseurship, the exhibition will demonstrate the complexity of attribution decisions while also encouraging the viewer to make slow and careful observations. The ongoing debates about these works have raised new and interesting questions regarding the young Leonardo and Renaissance workshop practices.

Related Programs

Thursday, May 17, 2018, 6pm Master Series Third Thursday: Rediscovering Leonardo. Laurence Kanter, chief curator and the Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art, Yale University Art Gallery, delves into the fascinating story behind this mysterious panel painting. Hosted by the Worcester Art Museum's Members' Council and free with Museum admission.

Presented with support from the Bernard and Louise Palitz Fund.

Master Series is sponsored by:

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This exhibition is made possible through the generous support from The Robert Lehman Foundation and Antonella and Roger Doucette. Additional support is provided by Chris and Cathy Collins, given in honor of Phil Klausmeyer, an extraordinary conservator, accomplished artist, loving husband and father, and humble beyond all measure. Program support is provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Sponsored in part by:



The Wall Street Journal
A Big Kickoff for Leonardo's 500th
By John Hooper, November 1, 2018
Long Disputed, a Painting In Massachusetts Is Now Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci
By Claire Voon, May 2, 2018
Coffee With Konnie #505 da Vinci at the Worcester Art Museum
By WCCA, 2018

The Guardian
Revealed: ‘perfectly realised’ early work by Leonardo da Vinci
By Dalya Alberge, April 15, 2018

The Mystery of Worcester's Leonardo on Open Studio
Presented by Jared Bowen, March 30, 2018

Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Controversial Leonardo work meets companion piece in Worcester Art Museum exhibit
By Nancy Sheehan, March 8, 2018

The Boston Globe
Did Leonardo da Vinci have a hand in a Worcester Art Museum painting?
By Cate McQuaid, March 8, 2018

The Art Newspaper
A new Leonardo? Scholarly show claims to reveal master's hand
By Judith H. Dobryzinski, January 9, 2018
Stunning ‘Long-Lost’ Da Vinci Painting Expected to Fetch $100 Million
By Becky Little, October 13, 2017