The foreword of the author



The internationally unique collection of art objects, represented in The Kulenovic Collection Museum, in Karlskrona ,Sweden, administrated by Rizah Kulenovic is the property of the Kulenovic Family, the ancestor of which is Kulin Ban who, ca. 1130, established Bosnia as a national entity, as documented in a form of constitution, being among the oldest written ones (cf. Magna Carta).

From its very origin, the Kulenovic Family, based in Bosnia and the historic Republic of Venice, has been represented by leading statesman, diplomats and owners of trading companies; the activity of the Family covered huge geographical areas – reflecting the vast political and business empire of the republic of Venice – comprising the Ottoman empire, including the Mediterranean  and the Middle Eastern countries , Persia and Turkey, all the way to the border India.
Historical records show that the Kulenovic Family always had , and still has, a passion for art. Over the centuries, the family built up a unique collection of art objects – the Kulenovic Family Collection of Art Objects -, always kept within an entailed estate, transferred intact from generation to generation and  administrated

by the head of the Kulenovic Family. This way of handling  and administrating the estate went smoothly over the centuries, not the least because the Famili’s leading positions as statesmen etc. provided all necessary protection of the overall Kulenovic Famili Estate. However, this situation changed  dramatically after the First World War, during The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and later when Yugoslavia was taken over by the Tito communist regime: one of the very first target of the regime was the Kulenovic family, at the time owner of vast properties all over Yugoslavia (and internationally ) and a large unique collection of pieces art.
One of the senior sons of the Family, Rizah Kulenovic, was, like all family members, severely persecuted by the regime. Mr. Rizah  Kulenovic , a very gifted artist, decided to escape  the oppression. He settled down in Italy where he soon became a sought after artist, and later on in France – during this time he was associated whit many now very famous artists, including Dali, Gatuso, Picasso and Warhol. After a sejour in the U.S.A., Rizah Kulenovic came back to Europe and settled down in the beautiful naval city Karlskrona. Here, he devoted his time to his internationally well – known skill of reverse glass painting.

As this time, Rizah Kulenovic had very little or no knowledge of whether the Kulenovic family Collection of Art Objects existed or, if so, where. He suspected that the Collection was gone for ever – from his family he knew that both the national socialistic and the Soviet socialistic regime had made major efforts to trace and steal the Family Collection.

As time passed by, at a certain point in time, Rizah Kulenovic  got a request from the head of the Kulenovic Family to travel to a specific location in Western Europe. Without Rizah Kulenovic having known about this fact, the Collection had been hidden away out of reach of advocates of the above-mentioned regimes. Rizah Kulenovic had never before seen the Collection and paintings and a mass of sculptures, archeological objects (some dating from 4000 years before Christ), ceramics, etc! This was the moment when Rizah Kulenovic piece by piece started to transfer objects of art to Sweden and to Karlskrona, over time building a unique private collection of art objects in his hometown.

The part of the Kulenovic Family Collection gathered in Karlskrona has been kept as a more or less private, rather anonymous, collection – fore mostly visited by art lovers coming from all over the world. This collection will now be made publicly accessible and shown in a new location – in the historic setting of the Grand Square in Karlskrona. Once established, the Museum will be launched internationally and without doubt, this will be somewhat of a sensation in the world of art! Art lovers will be taken aback by having the opportunity to see original pieces of art – by many of the most world-renowned artists – several of which not seen for centuries, to appear again on the world scene! This will specifically be true with regard to Leonardo da Vinci’s miraculous painting the “Nativity”.                               

                                                                                                                                           HANS-FREDRIK SAMUELSSON

 

 

THE NATIVITY  by Rizah Kulenovic

It is an established fact –  based on very extensive research process, seriously initiated in the 1880’s, and hundreds of books and dissertations – that Leonardo da Vinci (LdV) only produced a very few paintings during his lifetime (1452-1519). Despite this, quite a number of paintings have been presented as original works by Leonardo. So then , how to sift the wheat from the chaff ?

           This issue is discussed in this note with regard to Leonardo da Vinci’s breathtaking painting the “Nativity”, showing Virgin Mary sitting with the Jesus child on her knees, on her left side, and with. St. John standing at her right hand side, all depicted in a triangular setting, against a dark background. The painting is kept in the estate of the Kulenovic family – a family dating back to the 12th century. The “ Nativity , together with a multitude of other works of art of world renowned painters, will be exhibited in Museum The Kulenovic Collection, tu be inaugurated on 6th of June 2009. The discussion in this note is based on The Kulenovic Theory on Movements / Turnings in Leonardo da Vinci’s Paintings.

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In order to establish the authentication of painting, documentary and literary sources can indeed be of value, as is also true for iconographic studies. However, rather few artworks are accounted for in such sources and conditions can be misunderstood or falsified. Moreover, such sources most often do not pertain to the artwork per se  but to the environment in which it was produced. And with regard to iconographic analyses , these focus on physical objects and symbols applied in a painting and not on the nucleus of the painting per se .

         The analytical approach towards authentication applied in this note follows in the tradition of such eminent   scholars as Giovani Morelli, Bernard Berensson and Jens Thiis: in order to establish the originality of painting the analytic approach should focus on the artwork per se – on the way in which the artwork expresses the specific soul of the specific artist.

          With reference to what has been said by Thiis ( see Jens Thiis “ Leonardo da Vinci – The Florentine Years of Leonardo and Verroccio “, Herbert Jenkins, London 1913; first edition in Norwegian 1909 and new edition in 1949. ) , the most decisive proof for establishing the authenticity of a painting (or drawing) is to focus on the language that the specific painting speaks. If this on clearly defined, it will tell as about the originator but above all, about his specific unique trait as an artist. This is also the approach applied in this note: to establish the specific unique trait of the language spoken by the specific artist, Leonardo da Vinci. 
The danger when applying such an analytic approach is, of course, that the interpreter of the language is wrong in defining the specific trait of the specific painter: the interpreter is not able to show / document the specific unique trait of the painter and that this apply to all his paintings, distinguishing him from that other painters . If so, the chosen analytical approach has failed its purpose.

            In this note we are convinced that we have not failed in this respect: the specific trait of  LdV as a painter defined in this note is the one manifest in his painting the “Nativity” and in all those generally accepted as being original paintings of Leonardo, while at the same time clearly distinguishing him from that of other painters. 

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            The fact that Leonardo da Vinci produced a very few paintings during a relatively long lifetime of sixty-seven years, reflects the enormous complexity of arriving at his specific unique trait as a painter: his truly astonishing ability to depict movements in human beings (and animals) reproduced on a flat canvas !

From the outset, it should be understood that movements referred to here are not those perceived by an observer of a painting when the painter has depicted person in a turned position – for example, sitting with his body fixed to the left or to the right. And these are not those movements – particularly of the eyes -  perceived by an observer of a person depicted on canvas, or those based on optical illusions, occurring when rectangular or quadratic objects, reproduced in a painting ( a work of art ) are observed.

Movements, as referred to in this note, are a matter of movements / turnings in major body parts of human beings for example, in the limbs, in the head or in the upper part of the body of a human being, depicted in a painting. These movements / turnings are realized by the observer of a painting as he / she passes by the painting, from the left to the right or, in the opposite direction, following a 180 degree (half) circle in front of the painting. As argued here these movements / turnings can be seen in original paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. 

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It only takes a minute or two of observation passing by the “Nativity” – in its setting in the Museum The Culenovic Collection –in the way said above, to clearly recognize the movements / turnings in major body parts of persons depicted in the painting.

Facing the painting in a narrow angle from the right hand side of the painting one sees Jesus child sitting on Virgin Mary’s knees with his head (face), arms and shoulders directed towards the observer. In the same way, the arms, the head and the shoulders of Virgin Mary are directly directed towards the observer.

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            As the observer is looking at the painting in a narrow angle from the left hand side, the Jesus child is seen lying down on Virgin Mary’s knees with his body stretched out towards the observer – the body now seems to be two times as long as when the observed faced the Jesus child from a narrow right hand side angle . The head , the upper body and the legs of the Jesus child are now focused directly towards the observer. The head, the upper body and the hands of Virgin Mary are also focused directly towards the observer.

              Leonardo da Vinci has given his painting a third dimension : a depth, which gives the same sensation as when one observes a sculpture or a living human being – one gets a feeling that the persons are coming out of the painting (from the interior of the painting ): this is especially so for the Jesus child, who also is the focal point / the most important human being depicted in the painting.

              By repeating the same process of observations referred to above , it can be established that the same type of movements / turnings are evident in those few paintings which are generally accepted as being original paintings by Leonardo da Vinci ( the only exception is the  “Lady with the Ermine”, which painting also, based on other criteria, has been doubted as being an original painting by Leonardo; this issue can probably not be finally decided on until one has established whether restoration work has distorted the original painting). This can be easily established for example, when observing LdV:s most well-known paintings, “La Gioconda” (Mona Lisa”) and the “Last Supper “. 

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               All paintings by Leonardo da Vinci – applying the so called sfumato-technique – get their shadow in the same way and the light comes from the same direction. They are all lightened up in 45 degrees from the left to the right. There is an astonishing intensity LdV:s  mysterious light – it is not possible to decide whether his light emanates from the inside of the painting or from the outside. Numerous other great painters tried to copy / imitate LdV:s light but the result was not LdV:s but their own type of light. This light – obscure type of painting is typical of all LdV:s work – and indeed, Leonaro had to paint shadows and lights, “clair-obscure” , in this way as one important precondition for being able to depict movements / turnings in his paintings ! And if no other painter was his ability to depict movements / turnings, as referred to in this note.

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This specific unique trait of Leonardo as a painter has been admired and envied by many of the world’s most famous painters, including del sartor, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio and Rembrandt: they all tried –  but unsuccessfully – to depict human movements / turnings in their paintings. One relevant example is Andrea del Sartro who almost exactly copied the Jesus child in the “Nativity “ ( see del Sartro’s painting the “Mystical Marriage of S:t Catherine” 1512 ). However, he did not succeed – as Leonardo da Vinci – in depicting movement / turning in the body of Jesus child. Raphael Sanzio, who was totally enchanted by LdV:s trait of painting (see Thiis, op cit . pp 217 -218 based on Vasari) provides some other example. In his “Madonna in the Meadow “, Raphael tried to depict movement / turning in the small child at the side of the Madonna: the result was a wrongly designed knee and a leg with a peculiar anatomical form but no movements / turnings. And the same conclusion can be reached with regard to Rembrandt and Caravaggio, as also seen in their major works kept within the same family estate as the one comprising the Nativity”.

       And in general, by studying, specifically, the Madonna figure – at the time such a beloved motive – as depicted in paintings by Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Bellini, Caravaggio, Lippi and others, one can easily conclude that none of these managed to depict a Madonna figure characterized by the movements / turnings so uniquely documented in LdV:s paintings: it is only LdV who has managed the  seemingly   unmanageable – to combine compositions, shadow , light, anatomy and the perception of the eye in such a way that the observer realize movements / turnings in human beings depicted in his paintings.

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      The reason why such truly outstanding painters as those mentioned above – and others – were unable to depict movements / turnings was that they were painters while LdV was a scientifically based painter. As is obvious from LdV:s own manuscripts (see especially Madrid Codex and Madrid Codex 2, re-discovered in the Madrid Museum in 1965, and his thesis about painting and human movement, as referred to by Luca Pacioli in Felony in 1498 in the dedication To his “De divina proportione”) LdV was from very young age totally consumed by applying scientific theories – related to mathematics, geometry, physics mechanics, etc. – to his art of painting, in order to arrive at his ultimate goal of depicting human movements / turnings in his paintings.

      It could be said that LdV became a slave under the art of scientific painting. His paintings concentrate on presenting triangular shapes as clearly seen with regard to how he presents Virgin Marcy (the Madonna), the Jesus Child and St. John in the “Nativity”. But also, in specific instances, he would subordinate the artistic value of a painting in order to fulfill his ambition as a scientifically based painter. For example, in the “Nativity” he has placed the head of the Jesus child in a sort of awkward position – it is somewhat shifted to the right, for LdV to be able to depict movement / turning in the head of the Jesus child.

      The enormous complexity inherent in LdV:s unique ability to depict movements / turnings explains, as said, why other painters failed to challenge him with regard to his specific unique trait of painting. But also, that LdV himself probably experienced ultimate limits as far as it concerned his ability to depict movements / turnings. As a matter of fact such movements /

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turnings in the “Nativity” pertain to the Virgin Mary and to the Jesus child but not to St. John. And in the “Last Supper”, such movements/ turnings are constrained to the person of the Jesus figure and to one or a few specific apostles. Such restrictions in depicting movements / turnings can also be seen in his “Anna Self Third” (in London): in that painting movements / turnings are confined to the legs. (However, it has to be appreciated that restoration work has been done on this painting, as well as on, for example, the “Last Supper”, and this may have distorted the present documented extent of movements / turnings in these artworks). 
 

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      LdV:s all absorbing fascination with depicting movements / turning is also clearly documented in his writings, as referred to above, and in so many of his drawings, as studied below. LdV so often draws one and the same specific human figure (or, an animal. Specifically the horse, as applied to his major work the “Battle of Anghiari” – a piece of work that will be discussed in some other context, than the present one, as it relates to Museum the Culenovic Collection) or group of figures to (such as the Virgin and the Jesus child) in so many different positions, from so many angels.

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      Many experts on LdV:s drawings have also noted this and their conclusions, if any, are that this is because LdV wanted to examine which specific position of the drawn positions of a human figure - from which specific angle – he in the end would want to depict the person in a specific painting. However, here one overlooks LdV:s true purpose of drawing a specific figure from so many different angles: to be able to represent human movements / turnings in his paintings!

     LdV was not interested in depicting a person in one angle but in all those specific angles which were necessary to control simultaneously, in order for LdV to be able to show movements / turnings in his paintings. That this is so is clearly seen from his viewer diagram in Codex Madrid I (folio no 44, verso). Here he tries (using mirrors) to work with different visual angles. He faces a specific point directly from the front as well as from various side angles – here LdV attempts to show a series of projections without any optical deformation. It can be said that many have observed the white spots – the fact that LdV draws a specific figure from different angles – but none has realized that these spots made up the structure of a white Elephant, in terms of LdV:s ambition to present movements / turnings on a flat canvas!

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           In conclusion, as based on The Culenovic Theory on Movement / Turnings in Leonardo da Vinci’s Paintings, it can be established that the “Nativity”is an original painting by LdV: his specific unique trait as a painter – to depict movements / turnings – is also found in his other paintings, while other painters have not been able to master what it takes to demonstrate LdV:s specific unique trait of painting.

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            This conclusion focusing on LdV:s specific unique traits as a painter and the originality of the “Nativity”can now be further substantiated based  on an analysis of LdV;s drawings. 
Leonardo da Vinci has produced more than 2500 drawings, include on human beings, animals and physical objects. The purpose of these drawings was to work out ideas of how   to depict human beings, etc., to be implemented later on in his paintings.
 

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However, this does not mean that one always will find drawings corresponding to specific painting. Sometimes there are no specific drawings relating to a specific painting – for example, there is hardly any drawing to be found hitherto, relating do LdV:s most well- known painting “La Gioconda “. (There is a drawing in the louvre Museum related to “Mona- Lisa” but this is a copy based on LdV:s painting, made by Raphael – on this – and also on the issue of drawings in other museum, than the Louvre Museum: related to the “Nativity” , ( see Woldemar von Seidlitz , “Leonardo da Vinci “, Phaidon – Verlag, Viena, 1935). 

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         It may also be so that drawings are not meant for a specific painting: the purpose of a drawing or a set of drawings may be to depict specific human figures (or objects) to be included in more than one drawing. This may be the case when it concerns drawing related to Virgin Mary and the Jesus child – a motive which can be seen in more than one of LdV:s painting (including , the “Nativity”, the “Adoration of the Magi”, the “Virgin and the Child with the Cat” and the “Virgin of the Rocks”). And, as is well-known, LdV also draw various motives in one and the same drawing and thus, it can be difficult to ascertain the specific correlation between what is depicted in a drawing and what is represented  in one of his specific paintings.

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         The analysis here will be based on an examination of the rich collection of LdV drawings as exihibited in 2003 in the Louvre Museum (see “Leonardo de Vinci – Dessins et manuscripts “, Musèe du Louvre, Paris, 2003, and also for page referns given below). Several interesting observations can be made this collection. 
There are several drawings focusing on the issue of depicting human movements / turnings for example, drawings no. 14 ( >> la Vierge et l’Enfant, avec le petit saint Jean et un ange >> ) and no. 15 ( <<  Etude d’arcatures en perspective, calculs mathèmaticques >>). These clearly show how LdV is working on the issue of movement / turning by drawing the Jesus child different angles vis –à- vis the Virgin, and trying to works this out mathematically. The same is true for drawings no. 16 ( << la Vierge et l’Enfant tenant un Chat >> ) and no. 18 ( recto, << Duex  etudes pour la Vierge et l’Enfant tenant un chat, etc.>>) Of clear interest is the observation made pertaining to drawings no. 20 (recto, << la Vierge à l’Enfant, dite Vierge aux fruits  >> and vesro, << Etude de construction architectural pour une voûte >> ) where one speaks about << mobilité >> , as is also the case with regard to drawing no. 22 (recto, << L’Adoration des Mages >> , see also fig. 36,p. 101 on perspectives ). A very intresting cimment is made (p. 99) stating: <<elle est définie avec ce procède, familier de Leonardo, de l’ajustement progressif d’unde idée par déplacement du motif autor d’une axe , avec trios peutê tre quatre positions différentes de la tête et autant pour le mouvements des jambs >>.

These – and other –   observations on different positions drawn related to specific person reflect on what has been said before. Eminent experts very well recognize the existence of such   a multitude of positions and even, they use the word movement. However still, as said , they overlook LdV:s purpose behind this way of drawing: to depict movements / turnings in his paintings. Also, in some other respect, eminent experts can overlook a manifest fact: according to the official registration of LdV:s place of birth , his first name is not be spelled whit an “e” but whit an “i” in Leonardo - Li onardo da Vinci ideale and not, Le onardo da Vinci ! 

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     Thus , based on analysis of LdV:s drawings, his fascination with representing human movements / turnings can again be established. But then, first, what could an analysis of LdV:s drawing tell us about a possible link between specific drawings and his painting the “Nativity” ? And second, what does such an analysis indicate on the existence of painting referred to here as the “Nativity” ?

           The brief answer to the first question is that there are numerous drawings which can be linked to the “Nativity”. This is even more so if one appreciates what was noted before: LdV, when drawing a specific, may have been more concerned with the perfection of a specific motive than with drawing for a specific painting.

          The brief answer to the second question is that there are clear indications of the existence of the “Nativity” at the time of LdV. This conclusion can be reached based on a focus on the motive represented in the “Nativity” and its relation to a missing painting by LdV, relating to said motive.

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          Focusing on an examination of the motives there are a number of darwings which clearly relate to the “Nativity”, including no 13 (recto « la Vierge et l’Enfant tenant un chat » and verso « Etude d’un enfant »), no 14 («  La Vierge assise, avec l’Enfant et saint Lean-Baptiste; tête de putto »), no 15(« La Vierge et l’Enfant, avec le petit saint Jean et un ange »), no 17 (recto, « La Vierge et l’Enfant; profiles; esquisses techniques » and verso « La Vierge et l’Enfant »), no 18 (recto, « Deux éstudes pur la Vierge et l’Enfant tenant un chat ») and, of particular relevance, no. 20 (recto, « La Vierge á l’Enfant, dite Vierge aux fruits » and verso « Etude de construction architectural pour une voûte »).

          Of course- as shown in the expert comments referred to here in the source noted above -, in establishing links between drawings and a specific painting, one may have different opinions and perceptions.  

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    However, as an absolute minimum, a well-founded conclusion would be that those drawings referred to above (and others, possibly including drawing no. 14, cat. 15 in the Ashmolean Museum; see Karl T. Perker “Catalogue of the Coollection of Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum”, vol. II, Italian schools, Oxford, 1956) in no way whatsoever exclude that LdV has painted the “Nativity”. Moreover, drawings worked out for the purpose of depicting in general the motive of Virgin Mary and the Jesus child. (cf. Musée du Louvre, op.cit., p.73). 

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      The conclusive answer to the first question stated above is linked to what can be ascertain as an answer to the second question stated above that is, the issue on a missing painting by LdV, disappeared from the public domain. On this issue we should refer to several comments made by eminent experts on LdV:s drawings and paintings (the page numbers stated below refer to Musée du Louvre op.cit).

      With regard to various drawings focusing on the motive of Virgin Mary / Madonna and the child ant the cat (p.75), the experts conclude that these were destined for some other composition by LdV representing the motive with the virgin and the child. One notes that many drawings related to the virgin and the cat do not seem to have given rise to any of the specific known paintings of LdV (pp. 73-74): one speaks about the mystery which pertains to LdV:s project focusing on the Madonna and the cat, and for what painting these drawings were destined (p. 84). One also notes (p. 119 and pp. 132-134) that certain drawings are destined for some painting focusing on the nativity or on the adoration of the Jesus child. Also, it is noted that LdV seems to have abandoned a project on a painting focusing on the Madonna and the child.

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      Finally, one speaks (p 134) of drawings directly destined for a non-documented painting of the nativity where LdV focuses on representing Virgin Mary, the Jesus child and St. John. It is said by the experts that LdV worked on this painting during the years of 1480-1485. It is also noted that during LdV’s lifetime, copies were made of this painting: the conclusion by the experts is that the original painting may not have been finished by LdV or, that it has disappeared from the public domain.

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     Two important conclusions can now be arrived at based on an analysis of the comments made by the experts (ref. Musée du Louvre op-cit.).

      First, there are several drawings which the experts are unable to link to a specific now known existing painting by LdV.

      Second, there are clear statements made by the experts on a missing painting by LdV depicting the motive of Virgin Mary, the Jesus child and St. John. The existence of such a LdV painting is also supported by what this (op-cit. p 141 f.) is saying based on his analysis of a drawing in the Windsor collection (drawing no. 13) – this drawing presents quite a large sketch for “a Mary with Child and the little St. John”. The existence of such a painting can also be ascertain based on Vasari’s account of LdV:s life (as referred to in Jay Williams “Leonardo da Vinci”, American Heritage Publishing Co. New York, 1965 and in Swedish, Allhems Förlag, Malmö, 1966 p. 123): “He seems to have painted very little because it is told only about Madonna with the child and a Jesus child, which was said to be captibating in its beauty, but there are no traces left of this”. 

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There can be no doubt that these conclusions refer to the “Nativity”. The reference ( Musée du Louvre op-cit., p. 134 ) to the existence of contemporary copies of this painting again give proof to the existence of said painting: how could copies be made if the original did not exist?

      The reference to such copies is not at all surprising. All contemporary painters focused on religious motives and above all, on the motive of Virgin Mary and the Jesus child. And indeed, all contemporary (as is true for painters after that) painters adored and envied LdV:s ability to depict referred to before, Andrea del Sarto made an almost exact copy of LdV:s Jesus child painted by LdV. And, as said, Raphael also tried to copy the way LdV depicted same motive but, as said, he also failed to represent LdV:s technique related to movement / turning.

So then, us the “Nativity”  as referred to here a copy of an original “Nativity? Hardly so, the examples just referred to give proof to the fact that none of the contemporary painters could depict movements / turnings, as being the specific unique trait of LdV:s style of painting. And, if the “Nativity”, as referred to here, is a copy of an original “Nativity”, then we would have detected a true sensation in the world of art – one more LdV would have existed in the world history of art- one more painter would have been able to depict movements / turnings in the same way as LdV!

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      That the “Nativity” might have disappeared already during the lifetime of LdV is not an unrealistic hypothesis. After all, the Kulenovic Family Estate which includes the “Nativity” belongs, as said, to a prominent family whose documented history goes back to the 12th century and whose main geographical sphere of operation was Italy (more specially, the historic Republic of Venice): it can not be excluded that the Family acquired the “Nativity” during the lifetime of LdV and that the “Nativity” during the lifetime of LdV and that the “Nativity” since then has been kept out of the public domain.

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         The analytical  approach towards establishing the authenticity of the “Nativity” has been directed towards establishing the specific unique trait of Leonardo da Vinci as an artist, focusing on interpreting the specific language in which his painting speaks. In so doing we have    already including or touched upon most of those points of observations which are comprised in a traditional approach towards establishing authenticity of a painting, including the style of painting, similarities whit other paintings by the same painter, the existence of documentary references to the specific painting, the relation between drawings and the specific painting, etc. To this , a few comments can be added with regard to the “Nativity” and elements of importance in a process of establishing authenticity. 
An iconographic analysis shows
the complete correspondence between the “Nativity” and so many other paintings and drawings by LdV: the focus on religious motives and, above all, the overwhelming focus on Virgin Mary and the Jesus child. From an examination of the physical attributes of the “Nativity” the following ccan be noted: the size of the Painting is the same as the size of the painting. “La Gioconda “ (“Mona-Lisa”, 77x66 cm, before the painting was cut in 1911 on the vertical sides, in connection with its theft from the Louvre museum; the current size of the Mona-Lisa paintings is 77x53 cm ); the frame of the painting is the same –including the coils and the Bethlehem star, on which LdV has produced many drawings – as that of  the “Madonna in the Cave” (Louvre Museum); the painting is on a canvas fixed to cardboard / carton; the canvas of the painting is in a state of  a certain degree of decomposition; etc. To this – as referred  to above – can also be added the facts related to the context in which the “nativity” is found: in a family estate consisting of wonderful artworks, based on several hundred years of passionate devotion to art – thus, the context is exactly that in which it would be probable to find a piece of art of this status.

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          And finally, there is the issue on the highly intricate way in which Leonardo daVinci signed his paintings: an issues that will be referred to in some other context, taking its point of departure in LdV:s painting the “nativity”, extending this issues to LdV:s other paintings.

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      In conclusion, taking into account all what has been said above, there is no doubt whatsoever that the “Nativiti” is an original painting by Leonardo da Vinci ! And in the end, who could refute this and the pronouncement of what is the specific unique trait of LdV:s genius as a painter – the proofs is in the pudding: everyone is invited to visit The Culenovic Collection Museum and pass by the “Nativity”, taking away the person’s breath hi / she realizes how human beings – represented on a flat canvas – are moving their limbs and other body parts, continuously facing these towards the observer as he / she is passing by in half circle around the “Nativity “ !

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          For sure, the launching publicly on an international scale of the “Nativity”, in the context of the launching of The Culenovic Collection Museum in its new location, will arouse a worldwide attention and be of huge importance in  the world of art: for the first time, in hundreds of years, the “Nativity” will be seen publicly, a painting which probably is the most skillfully composed painting of any of LdV:s all known paintings ! And of course, this launching will occur simultaneously whit the launching of the Kulenovic Theory on Movements / Turnings in Lionardo da Vinic’s Paintings, presented by the caretaker – having devoted several decades of his life to art studies, particularly of LdV – of the Kulenovic Family Collection of Art Objects, comprising the “Nativity” and a host of other wonderful paintings and objects of art. The launching of the Kulenovic Theory will document its relevance for the “Nativiti” but also, for all those paintings which are generality accepted as being original LdV paintings.

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         It should be clearly appreciated that launching of the “Nativity” will not occur without arousing controversy: there are so many vested interests in the field of LdV and his paintings both as it concerns scholars in the art world and actors in the commercial sector of this world. All of these have, of course and understandably so, a vested interest in questioning the originality of the “Nativity” and the Kulenovic Theory, having overlooked what is the specific unique trait of Leonardo da Vinci as a painter. However, this in itself - especially in combination whit the fact that, as said , the proof is in the pudding – does not need to present any major problem – it will only heighten the interest in the painting. And, indeed the same will be true with regard to the launching of the Culenovic Theory of Movements / Turnings in Lionardo da Vinci’s painting: the application of this theory to any painting professed to be an original painting of Leonardo da Vinci , vill sift the wheat from the chaff !

     

Whit my Kindest Regards
     Rizah Kulenovic