Drawings sketched by Leonardo da Vinci are emerging from the walls of a room in the Sforza Castle in Milan.
Known as Sala delle Asse, or Room of the Planks, after the wood panels that lined it, the room contains one of most original paintings of the 15th century -- a mural depicting a garden pergola. The trunk of each tree rises as a column above a Gothic vault, producing an evocative, fictional grove.
The work was created by Leonardo and his assistants and was commissioned in 1498 by the duke of Milan, Ludovico Maria Sforza, il Moro (the Moor).
The arboreal decoration is made up of 16 mulberry trees bound together by a golden, knotted rope.
Experts agree that Leonardo's hand can be detected in a monochrome section of the fresco on the northeast and northwest corner of the room. The apparently unfinished work depicts sturdy roots bursting through rocks.
In this section, beneath several layers of whitewash, restorers believe they can recover large parts of the original work, including important parts of the preparatory drawings.
Analysis such as ultra violet flourescence revealed long lost drawings. In this case, the image shows a flower.
According to the restorers, the fresco is covered by a thick layer of grime. But cleaning tests indicate that it can be easily removed without damaging Leonardo's paint. Due to end in 2015, the restoration might provide further insights on Da Vinci's vision of the highly symbolic decoration.
Leonardo's complex decoration is filled with punning allusions. The mulberry, or Morus tree, refers to Ludovico Maria Sforza's well-known nickname, Il Moro, the Moor.