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Cornelius News

Dr. Chris Brown: Our own Indiana Jones

By Dave Yochum.  Jean-Pierre Isbouts is a bestselling National Geographic author, an international motivational speaker and an award-winning filmmaker who gained worldwide renown with his 2006 book, “The Biblical World.”

He is the co-author of a new book, “The Da Vinci Legacy,” which is being published in time for the 500th anniversary of the death of the world’s first rock star, Leonardo da Vinci.

The other co-author: Cornelius resident, art connoisseur and surgeon, Dr. Christopher Brown. “Five hundred years after his death we are still talking about him,” says Brown, 57.

Brown and his wife Sabrina live in a stone mansion in The Peninsula befitting a Medici. It is filled with art—including works by Dali and Renoir—and furniture from Gianni Versace not to mention the sounds of four exuberant dogs.

Brown became fascinated with Renaissance art as a child after seeing Raphael’s “St. George Slaying the Dragon” at the National Art Gallery in Washington D.C.

Reconstructing real smiles

Originally from Potomac, Md., Brown earned his Bachelor of Science in Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, then completed his dental education at the University of North Carolina and graduated with honors in 1986.  He got his board certification from the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, and has presented and published to both national and international audiences.

So it’s only fitting that a man who knows and understands every muscle in a smile would be intrigued by the most famous smile ever—that of the Mona Lisa, DaVinci’s masterpiece. Brown has studied the priceless work for decades and helped trace the lineage of DaVinci’s first rendering of the Mona Lisa, as a younger, most likely pregnant woman.

Brown is rightfully in awe of DaVinci who painted only 18 works, most of them of the Madonna. His work is so rare that when it comes up for auction, it is international news.

There is money involved in all of this, on a scale most of us can’t even imagine.

DaVinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold for $450 million at auction in November of 2017. The price-tag makes a record-setting Picasso look like a bargain at

$180 million.

The painting, of a serene Christ, is a stunning piece now attributed to a man who is considered to be the greatest artist who ever lived.

Sixty years ago it sold for about $60. Brown can trace its history as well.

Chasing history

The personable doctor is fascinated by DaVinci and the world he inhabited. He was a friend and even a rival of Michaelangelo, Brown says. He and Isbouts researched a vast array of original sources, including the first illustrated books of the Renaissance and DaVinci’s notebooks.

They traced the paths of the “Isleworth Mona Lisa,” as well as a previously undiscovered version of “The Last Supper” done on canvas by DaVinci, not on a wall.

Brown and Isbout’s new book coincides with the broadcast of “The Search for the Mona Lisa,”  which will air on Public Television nationwide in May. The documentary is based on “The Da Vinci Legacy.”

Of course, it will include that smile, the smile that comes from DaVinci’s scientific knowledge as well as his artistic side. Brown’s and Isbout’s names will be household words in those households with an abiding interest in fine art and PBS.

About the inscrutable smile, Brown says “it means I basically know something you don’t know.”

One more thing we don’t know—but Brown says he does—is where to the Ark of the Covenant is. Well, more or less. He and Isbouts have a map of where it might be.

He plans an expedition to the mountains near Milan later this year. “Whether or not we find it we don’t know.”

You can order the book

Cornelius Today, there is an active discount of 20 percent off preorders of “The DaVinci Legacy.”

Where to order:


Discount code: thankyou

Full price: $24.99

Discount: 20% off

Expires: July 1, 2019