THE SECOND MONA LISA

     In September, 2012 in Geneva the representatives of Swiss Foundation "Mona Lisa" for the first time presented to the public the painting which they asserted to be a younger version of famous "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci.
     In experts' opinion, numerous research results undoubtedly evidence that the displayed painting which has been created 11-14 years earlier than the famous "La Gioconda" of the Paris Louvre is also a work by Leonardo da Vinci. Both "Giocondas" are much alike, but the smile of the "new" one is more pronounced and the face looks fresher and younger
     The paintings differ is size, range of colours and background theme. "New Mona Lisa" is painted on canvas and is a bit larger than "Mona Lisa" in the Louvre which is painted on wood.

     
     Art historians have been aware of "New Mona Lisa" for about 100 years. In 1914 the painting was bought (according to other sources - found in an abandoned estate) by art collector and critic Hugh Blaker residing in London district of Isleworth, after which the painting was given original name "The Isleworth Mona Lisa". In 1964 the canvas was purchased by American collector Henry Pulitzer, who published a book in 1972 asserting that Leonardo da Vinci is the author of the painting. At that time the publication did not attract much interest due to lack of evidence. In 1979, after Henry Pulitzer's death, the painting was passed into the hands of a consortium of several collectors who established "Mona Lisa" Foundation. During the last 40 years the painting was kept in a bank safe in Switzerland.

Two paintings of Mona Lisa
     
      Presentation of the painting to the public was preceded by 35-year meticulous work of international group of experts and scientists invited by "Mona Lisa" Foundation. The results of years-long investigations involving expenditures exceeding one million Euro are set out at 320 pages of monograph "Mona Lisa: Leonardo's Earlier Version"The book includes analysis of several dozens of copies of "La Gioconda" by different painters which date back to XVI-XVII centuries, and historic and scientific evidence of Leonardo da Vinci's authorship of "The Isleworth Mona Lisa".

Mona Lisa: Leonardo's Earlier Version
      According to the evidence of Georgio Vazari, art historian of the Renaissance, da Vinci started painting the portrait of a Florentine woman Lisa Gherardini in 1503 and left it unfinished. In 1529 Leonardo finished the painting. And it is not asserted that da Vinci was finishing painting the portrait which has been started by him in 1503. It is quite possible that in 1519 Leonardo finished ANOTHER painting (which is logical and the most likely from the artist's point of view!) portraying the same model in her later years.
The drawing by Raffaello
       In experts' opinion, "The Isleworth Mona Lisa" is the first version of the painting created by the great master in 1503, and "Mona Lisa" from the Louvre's collection is the second version completed in 1519 (it is generally known that da Vinci has repeatedly made author's copies of his works, e.g. "The Virgin of the Rocks"). To prove that "The Isleworth Mona Lisa" was that very painting which da Vinci worked at in 1503, a drawing by Raphael dated to 1503 is presented which was made during his studies at Leonardo da Vinci's workshop. Obviously, Raphael has seen the portrait painted by da Vinci at that time and accurately repeated the sketch of the painting, including architectural elements in the background.

   Despite the fact that da Vinci painted his masterpieces mainly on wood, several works on canvas have survived to the present day ("The Benois Madonna", the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg).
    From mathematical point of view, experts explain attributing the painting to Leonardo by the fact of its full compliance with the principle of "golden section" continuously followed by the artist, who was fond of geometry. Besides, experts confirmed that the canvas has been painted by a left-hander, and the artist was a left-hander.

    Numerous analysis of the painting carried out according to the latest technologies, including UV-, infrared and X-ray methods, prove that the painting has been created in the beginning of the XVI century. Computer analysis made it possible to ascertain that proportions of the portraits (including face, hands and many other fragments), in spite of their different sizes, are strictly observed. The results of computer simulation of female face aging confirmed that "Mona Lisa" of the Louvre in her young ages looked like "The Isleworth Mona Lisa".
          
The "Mona Lisa" Foundation

The Mona Lisa Foundation
The Mona Lisa Foundation

The Mona Lisa Foundation
The Mona Lisa Foundation

The Mona Lisa Foundation

      Despite scepticism of academic community about the presentation of "New Mona Lisa", the Foundation management declares its readiness to display the painting in one of museums and to make it available for further examination. If the authorship of Leonardo da Vinci is confirmed, a world-wide sensation in decorative art will occur.


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