News / Arts & Entertainment

Purported Proof Found for 'Original' Mona Lisa

The "Isleworth Mona Lisa," seen here on in Geneva on September 27, 2012, is purported to be an earlier version of the "Mona Lisa," painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
The "Isleworth Mona Lisa," seen here on in Geneva on September 27, 2012, is purported to be an earlier version of the "Mona Lisa," painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— New tests on a painting billed as the original version of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's 15th century portrait, have produced fresh proof that it is the work of the Italian master, a Swiss-based art foundation said on Wednesday.

The tests, one by a specialist in "sacred geometry'' and the other by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, were carried out in the wake of the Geneva unveiling of the painting, the "Isleworth Mona Lisa," last September.

"When we add these new findings to the wealth of scientific and physical studies we already had, I believe anyone will find the evidence of a Leonardo attribution overwhelming,'' said David Feldman vice-president of the foundation said.

The "Mona Lisa'' in the Paris Louvre for over three centuries has long been regarded as the only one painted by Leonardo - although there have been copies - and claims for the Swiss-held one were dismissed by some experts last year.

But it also won support in the art world, encouraging the Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation - an international group which says it has no financial interest in the work - to pursue efforts to demonstrate its authenticity.

Feldman, an Irish-born international art and stamp dealer, said he was contacted after the public unveiling of the portrait - which shows a much younger woman than in the Louvre - by Italian geometrist Alfonso Rubino.

"He has made extended studies of the geometry of Leonardo's 'Vitruvian Man'' - a sketch of a youth with arms and legs extended - "and offered to look at our painting to see if it conformed,'' Feldman told Reuters.

The conclusion by the Padua-based Rubino was that the "Isleworth'' portrait - named for a London suburb where it was  kept by British art connoisseur Hugh Blaker 80-90 years ago - matched Leonardo's geometry and must be his.

The Zurich institute, the Foundation said, carried out a carbon-dating test on the canvas of its painting and found that it was almost certainly manufactured between 1410 and 1455 - refuting claims that it was a late 16th century copy.

Earlier brush-stroke studies presented last September by U.S. physicist and art lover John Asmus concluded that both the ``original'' version and the Louvre crowd-puller were painted by the same artist.

The authenticity of the foundation's painting, discovered by Blaker in an English country house in 1913, has been fiercely challenged by British Leonardo authority Martin Kemp, who argued last year that "so much is wrong with it.''

Feldman and foundation colleagues retort that Kemp has never followed up on invitations to come to see it.

Documents show that a painting of his wife Lisa was commissioned around the turn of the 16th century by Florentine nobleman Francesco del Giacondo. In French, the Louvre version is known as "La Giaconde'' and "La Giaconda'' in Italian.

Supporters of the "younger'' version say it was almost certainly delivered unfinished to del Giacondo before Leonardo left Italy in 1506 and took up residence in France, where he died in 1519 in a small Loire chateau.

From the Giacondo house, it probably eventually found its way to England after being bought by a travelling English aristocrat, this account runs, while the Paris version was probably painted by Leonardo around 1516 in France.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Simon Harling from: USA
February 14, 2013 9:22 PM
Personally I have never been much impressed by the Louvre Mona Lisa. The Isleworth painting has far more similarities to Leonardo's earlier portraits like Lady With An Ermine than the 'official' Mona Lisa which seems lumpen, and lacks Leonardo's customary graceful lines. There have been speculations that Leonardo's assistant Salai, who was bequeathed the work and sold it to the king of France, was either its model or the painter. He was considered a mediocre artist and thoroughly dishonest. One thing is clear - whichever is the later painting, it is a direct copy of the original. The hands, fingers and drapery folds are precisely duplicated.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.