News & Opinion | March 16, 2019 5:00 am

Only Surviving Leonardo da Vinci Sculpture Was Just Unveiled

Artist's "The Virgin with the Laughing Child" was erroneously attributed to someone else.

Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci - Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, writer, scientist, architect and engineer. Venetian engraving of 16th century.1452-1519 (Culture Club/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Legendary artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci has been rumored to have dabbled in sculptures, but until now, there has been no solid three-dimensional artwork to back up this claim.

A sculpture formerly attributed to Antonio Rossellino has been correctly identified as one of da Vinci’s works of art.

A sculpture by Leonardo da Vinci is on display in Italy. (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Francesco Caglioti is curating the exhibit where the sculpture is on display and says there are telltale signs that this work is a da Vinci and not one of Rossellino. For example, the virgin Mary has the signature da Vinci smile and her dress mimics the way the artist was drawing at the time.

The sculpture was likely created sometime around 1472, while da Vinci was working under Andrea del Verrochio, an Italian painter. In 1899, there was an attempt to correctly attribute the work, but it wasn’t until this week that the attribution was finally updated.

The Virgin with the Laughing Child is joining another work of art thought to be a da Vinci- the “nude Mona Lisa” drawing which the Louvre believes to also be a classic da Vinci creation.