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A new discovery from the hands of Leonardo da Vinci, "Horse and Rider" is on display to the public for the first time at Da Vinci – The Genius at The Venetian in Las Vegas, presented by Imagine Exhibitions. Visitors to the exhibition now have the rare opportunity to see the mold and original bronze cast of the only known Leonardo da Vinci sculpture surviving today.
Created more than 500 years ago from a block of solid beeswax, "Horse and Rider" was authenticated by the foremost authority on the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci, Dr. Carlo Pedretti. Based on Pedretti's verification, a mold was created from the delicate wax sculpture to preserve Leonardo's work and intent as the beeswax began to deteriorate, which was then cast in bronze.
"'Horse and Rider' could not find a better place to call home than Da Vinci – The Genius," said Tom Zaller, CEO and President of Imagine Exhibitions Inc. "We are honored to be hosting this incredible find through the remainder of the exhibition's run in Vegas."
An early maquette for an apparently unfinished monument, "Horse and Rider" features a rider in full military regalia on horseback. Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519 before he could complete the larger project, leaving Horse and Rider to his star pupil, Francesco Melzi. It is believed that the piece remained with Melzi's family in Italy until the 1930s, when it was taken to Switzerland for safekeeping through WWII.
In 1985, world-renowned Leonardo expert, Dr. Carlo Pedretti was called on to verify its authenticity. After his in-depth analysis, Pedretti declared that he believed it was from the hands of Leonardo da Vinci himself. Photos of the model appear in the Catalogue Raisonne of Leonardo's drawings known as the Queen's Collection at Windsor Castle, Horses and Other Animals. The beeswax model is also well documented in the scholarly work "Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist" by Otto Letze and Thomas Buchsteiner.
It was the desire of Richard A. Lewis, the current owner of the original mold taken from the model, to share this incredible find with the world. Limited edition casts of the sculpture were created in four different finishes: Leonardo Classic, Classic Bronze, Verde and Silver. These casts are on display at Da Vinci – The Genius and available for purchasE. Lewis will be making a $1 million dollar donation from the sales of "Horse and Rider" to The Salvation Army Rehabilitation Program of Southern Nevada.
"Horse and Rider" will be on display at Da Vinci – The Genius during the rest of its limited engagement at The Venetian through January 2013. The exhibition is open daily to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and tickets are available to purchase at The Venetian box office and venetian.com.
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