A gallery of the people and documents involved in the journey of the 'Leonardo.' Due to technical difficulties, please navigate the gallery by clicking the back button to go back to this main "Players" page after viewing each item.
'Portrait of A Girl' - a painting once believed to be a Leonardo DaVinci, likely created by one of his students. It was the center of much controversy in the early 1900s art world; its misattribution led to Theodore Davis and Emma B. Andrews smuggling it out of Italy, across Europe, and to their home in Newport R.I.
Giovanni Morelli - renowned artistic scholar and the first known owner of the 'Donna Laura Minghetti Leonardo,' he granted it to Donna Laura Minghetti, the wife of a close friend, in his will.
Donna Laura Minghetti - Italian socialite and wife of two-time Prime Minister, Marco Minghetti. She held the painting in her famous Roman Salon for her daughter. Minghetti allowed the painting to be sold to American millionaire turned excavator turned art collector, Theodore Davis, as an authentic Leonardo. However, a letter from a close friend detailing the transaction reveals Donna Laura was aware that Morelli had not attributed the painting to a Leonardo Da Vinci (see Lady Layard's Letter).
A letter from Lady Layard, a close friend of Donna Laura Minghetti, which reveals Donna's knowledge of the painting's authenticity.
Jean Paul Richter - dealer and historian of Italian art who served as the middle-man between Donna Laura Minghetti and Theodore Davis in the acquisition of the 'Donna Laura Minghetti Leonardo.' As an academic, he focused his studies on Leonardo Da Vinci.
Bernard Berenson - art historian and connoisseur who was Giovani Morelli's chief disciple. He attributed the 'Donna Laura Minghetti Leonardo' to Leonardo Da Vinci, believing that Morelli had unofficially done so prior to his death.
A letter to the editor of "The Nation" from Berenson, which included a note from Davis relinquishing Berenson of all responisibility in the purchase of the so-called 'Leonardo.'
Theodore Davis - the wealthy American collector who, through Jean Paul Ritcher, acquired the 'Donna Laura Minghetti Leonardo' in secret from Donna Laura Minghetti, and smuggled it through Europe and to Newport, R.I, with his mistress and constant companion, Emma B. Andrews.
Emma B. Andrews - Theodore Davis' mistress and constant companion in his journey's as an excavator and collector in Egypt and Europe. Her diary volumes mention meetings between Davis and Richter, and details the painting's journey through Europe and the response when its attribution was tested.
Mary Buttles - niece of Emma B. Andrews. Much of Davis' collection was left to her, including the 'Donna Laura Minghetti Leonardo' which she held in Florence, where she lived. She passed the painting along with the items from Davis' collection to her great grandnephew, John Whaling Adams, with whom she had a close relationship.
John Whaling Allen - the great grandnephew of Mary Buttles (Emma's niece), who left him the 'Donna Laura Minghetti Leonardo' after she passed. When Bernard Berenson declared in one of his books that the painting was not actually a Leonardo Da Vinci, Allen had the painting x-rayed, which revealed that the painting is a product of the "school of Leonardo,' started by him but finished by a student.