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.
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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

At Washington’s Blues Alley jazz singer Jane Monheit and her quartet perform songs made famous by Judy Garland. Monheit sits down with "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten to talk about her music, the singers who influence her, and her life traveling with family on tour.