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Another Mona Lisa to be unveiled in Geneva

Question remains whether painting is a later copy or from the master’s studio

The Isleworth Mona Lisa

The Isleworth Mona Lisa, a slightly larger version of the Louvre’s original, is due to be unveiled in Geneva on 27 September. A Swiss-based consortium, which owns the picture, argues that it is the first version of Leonardo’s portrait. Details will be provided by Alessandro Vezzosi, the director of the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci, in the artist’s birthplace of Vinci. He will be presenting evidence he has gathered with Carlo Pedretti, of the University of California.

This version of the Mona Lisa was bought in 1914 by the artist and critic Hugh Blaker, who lived in Isleworth, in west London. Unlike the Louvre’s Mona Lisa, around 1503-19, the painting is done on canvas (the original is on panel), it has columns on the sides of the picture and the landscape is very simple. Blacker reported that the picture had come from a Somerset aristocratic collection. In 1962, the painting was bought by the UK-based art collector Henry Pulitzer, who exhibited it very briefly in Phoenix, Arizona, in a commercial gallery.

The puzzle now facing Leonardo specialists is whether the Isleworth Mona Lisa is indeed from the master’s studio or is a subsequent copy, possibly from the late 16th century. Although the Prado’s copy of the Mona Lisa was accepted earlier this year as from Leonardo’s studio (see related story above), this latest announcement is likely to be greeted with initial scepticism—so the key question will be if the scientific evidence stands up. The painting is to be unveiled by Anatoly Karpov, the chess grandmaster and a member of the Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation.

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Comments

28 Sep 12
22:4 CET

CHRIS, FARRELL

A JPEG is useless for analysis...However,I think it is not a Da Vinci!...look at the hands, not consistent left and right. Look at the motif middle left to the mouth - never seen that kind of mirror image of what looks like trees reflected in water in any renaissance painting - really crude. If you can paint you can reproduce old masters - to my eyes it doesn't look right. Need to see it in the flesh to be sure though, I think it is an inspired copy.

28 Sep 12
15:47 CET

MAXIM, WASHINGTON DC

Since the original was a commission there was no need to make another, it's a copy or by another student. Think Occam's razor.

27 Sep 12
21:9 CET

DANIEL A.I. SWANGER, CHATTANOOGA, TN

This is perhaps even more beautiful than the Louvre version: red lips and eyebrows. Reminds one of the Litti Madonna with window-loggia-columns.

25 Sep 12
22:26 CET

ROBERTO, MADRID

How many paintings of Leonardo, are painted on canvas? That alone gives pause, unless, that had been transferred from a panel, and that can be seen in the craquelure

25 Sep 12
22:26 CET

DIANE, WEST MILFORD, NJ

Obviously it's hard to tell from a digital image but the colors don't seem as brilliant as the Mona Lisa we know

25 Sep 12
16:57 CET

JAMES, SCOTTSDALE, AZ.

So beautiful, of course it is a da Vinci look at the skill in portraying the expression, I can feel her in a digital image, the look of love, amazing, protect it forever.

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