Mona Lisa Double Reveals New Discoveries

  • Detail of the Prado's copy of the Mona Lisa currently in conservation (Photo: © Museum Nacional del Prado).

    Detail of the Prado's copy of the Mona Lisa currently in conservation (Photo: © Museum Nacional del Prado).

A recent cleaning of a painting in Madrid's Prado has unveiled some of the mystery surrounding Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa (ca. 1503-06).

Previously thought to be a later and inferior copy, the restored painting has been determined to be the earliest copy of da Vinci's masterpiece, and importantly, created by a key pupil at the same time as the original.

Restorers stripped away layers of black paint added in the 18th century to expose a beautiful Tuscan landscape behind the figure, who is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of the Florentine cloth merchant Francesco del Giocondo.

The radiant young woman who has intrigued viewers for centuries in the original, which hangs ibehind bullet-proof glass in the Louvre, is seen clearly in the pupil's replica.

Details of her clothing, chair, and smiling face are sharper than in the unrestored original which has been determined to be too fragile to clean.

The news has been hailed as one of the most important recent art discoveries. The Art Newspaper noted, "This sensational find will transform our understanding of the world’s most famous picture."

Once fully conserved, the replica will go on view at the Prado around mid-February before heading to the Louvre in Paris, as part of its exhibition “Leonardo’s Last Masterpiece: The Sainte Anne” (March 29-June 25, 2012).


More News Feed Headlines

Venice Biennale 2015

Over Half a Million Visitors Flocked to Venice Biennale in 2015; Next Year: Detroit Re-imagined at Architecture Pavilion

  • November 24, 2015 18:46

On November 22, 2015, the 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia chaired by ...

Read More

Maurice Compris at Vose Galleries

Holiday Gift Guide and December Preview

  • November 23, 2015 23:00

Browse selections for your holiday gift list and preview December’s art events from ARTFIXdaily’s ...

Read More

Paddle8 screeenshot

Paddle8 Aims to Corner Middle Market of Art Auctions

  • November 23, 2015 22:46

Fresh from raising $34 million Series C funding, of $44 million total from a host of high-profile ...

Read More

Museo Civico di Castelvecchio

Armed Bandits Steal Haul of Masterpieces from Museum in Italy

  • November 22, 2015 18:04

Armed bandits stormed a museum in Italy on Thursday and made off with 17 artworks, including ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar


ArtfixDaily Artwire