Three hidden portraits has been discovered underneath Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece the “Mona Lisa” by a French scientist, using reflective light technology, it has emerged.
Most important of the three images discovered however is one of which is likely to be the real portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, the woman thought to be the subject of the painting.
The digitally reconstructed image of the hidden portrait was presented at a press conference in Shanghai on Tuesday 8th of December, by scientist Pascal Cotte, who’s been analyzing the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece for over a decade, the BBC reported. Pascal said he uncovered the images using a multi-lens camera that took images of the painting under intense light.
The scientist also said that he used a multispectral camera to project intense lights on to the painting while measuring the reflections. This helps expose what happened between the paint layers.
The hidden portrait features a sitting subject who looks almost identical to the “Mona Lisa,” minus small but significant differences.
The sitter in the image appears to be looking to the side rather than directly at the viewer, and the sitter does not seem to have the enigmatic smile that’s intrigued “Mona Lisa” viewers for over 500 years.
Cotte told the BBC that he believes his findings challenge the widely accepted theory that the “Mona Lisa” is a painting of real-life 16th century Italian woman Lisa Gheradini, who was the wife of a Florentine silk merchant.
“The results shatter many myths and alter our vision of Leonardo’s masterpiece forever,” he said. “When I finished the reconstruction of Lisa Gherardini, I was in front of the portrait, and she is totally different to Mona Lisa today. This is not the same woman.”
Art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, who has made a BBC documentary about the discovery, believes this changes history. “It’s jawdropping,” he told CNN. “The Louvre are going to have to change their label.”
The Louvre Museum declined to comment on the findings, saying it was not a part of the scientific team that studied the painting.
Other art historians remain skeptical about the claims that Cotte’s findings could prove the “Mona Lisa” was someone else other than Lisa Gheradini.
I am a lover of arts and a big fan of Leonardo DaVinci’s works. From what I’ve read over the years, the man was a genius who was full of mystery. I cannot put putting three paintings in the Monalisa past him. Although its alters history and the Monalisa as we know it, it goes further to show the ingenuity of DaVinci.