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

Guggenheim Helsinki Finalist (GH-76091181).

Will the Guggenheim Helsinki Get the "Bilbao Effect"?

  • January 28, 2015 23:08

The proposed Guggenheim Helsinki, with its architectural competition still underway, is drawing more fire from critics who question the New York museum's use of Finland's prized harbor site and its impact...

Read More

Edward Hopper, Morning in a City, 1944, oil on canvas.  Bequest of Lawrence H.  Bloedel, Class of 1923.

300 Years of American Art Showcased at Williams College Museum

  • January 28, 2015 22:45

Familiar favorites along with artwork new to Williams College Museum of Art’s collection provide a panoply of American creativity in an exhibition opening January 31

Read More

Groninger Museum

Man with Knives Shot Outside Groninger Museum

  • January 27, 2015 11:29

A man swinging meat cleavers at pedestrians outside a Dutch museum was shot and killed by police on Sunday.

Read More

Twitter image of the Wells Fargo History Museum gold heist @AlexSavidge

Thieves Crash SUV Into SF Museum in Gold Heist

  • January 27, 2015 11:29

Three masked men drove a SUV through the glass front of the Wells Fargo History Museum in San Francisco and stole a handful of historic gold nuggets early on Tuesday morning.

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

ArtfixDaily Artwire