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Flora wax bust is not by Leonardo da Vinci

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Posted (edited)

The Flora wax bust in the Bode Museum, Berlin, was attributed to Leonardo because her face resembles several Leonardo portraits, but this attribution has the subject of intense debate since the bust’s acquisition in 1909.

Using new chemical analyses and absolute 14C dating, we are able to resolve the question of authenticity.

We show that the Flora wax bust is made primarily of spermaceti which was extracted from sperm whales.

Therefore, 14C dating must consider the Marine Reservoir Effect. We have generated a new calibration method and dated the bust to the 19th c.

This proves that the bust was not produced during the Renaissance, and thus cannot be attributed to da Vinci, and illustrates that 14C dating can be applied to unusual materials.


Flora: Wikipedia

Edited by Eldorado
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