The Mona Lisa Foundation


Shanghai, China, 26 April 2016: Started with a few simple strokes by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503, the greatest portrait in the history of mankind began in Florence, Italy. His masterful application of paint in the creation of the ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’, inspiration for his world famous icon, the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum, Paris, France, commenced its journey into history and the world’s consciousness.

The voyage’s latest step brings the masterpiece to The House in Xintiandi, Shanghai, from 28 April 2016 for the China Premiere of the exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’” – the second time only that the painting has been unveiled to the public for viewing with its firm attribution to Leonardo da Vinci, and the fascinating proof, including new evidence presented for the first time ever at the exhibition in Shanghai, that confirms this groundbreaking change to global Art History.

The exhibition will be open to the public from April 28th to August 28th 2016.

Breaking News and Making History

At the Press Conference new inconvertible elements proving the painting’s attribution to Leonardo da Vinci will be unveiled. Over the last few months Professor John A. Asmus of the University of California San Diego has collaborated with Professor Vadim Parfenov of the Saint Petersburg State Electrotechnical University and, using optical tools specifically made for the purpose of art conservation and authentication, they have obtained heretofore unannounced results. Their independent scientific investigations into the digitisation of artworks to establish authorship – to establish whether the same artist painted several different works – functions across a number of paintings. Both had earlier reached the conclusion that the ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’ was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. Their recent work together has led them both to confirm, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’ was painted by the same hand that painted the Louvre ‘Mona Lisa’ and several other works that are indisputably recognized as Leonardo da Vinci’s work.  Professor Parfenov will be elaborating on these groundbreaking news in person at the Press Conference at Xintiandi for the first time.

Professor Soares, South America’s foremost author on Leonardo da Vinci, will fly to Shanghai to present his new opinions on the 3-dimensionality that emerges in the painting, and its unique sfumato – which, in his view, proves that the painting can only be the work of the master himself.


The Exhibition:

The exhibition is a multi-media experience where visitors will be provided with an audio-visual tablet guide to individualize their journey into the world of the Italian Renaissance. Visitors will navigate the exciting discovery and authentication of the painting across 9 interactive galleries before finally coming face-to-face with the painting in its impressive display case.

Mr. David Feldman, Vice President of The Mona Lisa Foundation, curator of the exhibition, says: “We promise it will be a passionate experience for many – from art enthusiasts and school children to history lovers – particularly when it comes to viewing the painting. From our experience at the World Premiere in Singapore, the only time before that the public has been able to view the painting with its specially designed light show, the sheer beauty of being confronted with the masterpiece has been one of the most special moments of one’s lifetime.”

Galleries within the exhibition include the fascinating:

  • Historical Evidence

Various historical facts – from references to two Mona Lisa paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and inconsistencies in documentation about the paintings, to the maestro’s regular practice of executing multiple versions of his works – all lead to the conclusion that there have always been two Mona Lisa paintings.


  • The Discovery of the Century: The ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’

The circumstances surrounding the painting’s discovery in England in 1913, and the subsequent impact it made in captivating those who came into contact with it during the 20th Century.


  • Science & Mathematics:

Conclusive evidence that the materials used were available to Leonardo da Vinci and common to his palette. The geometric principles employed are the same in the construction of both versions of Mona Lisa. The decades of work presented by Emeritus Professor Asmus of the University of California scientifically demonstrates that the same hand painted the essential parts of the two Mona Lisa paintings. This evolving science is a groundbreaking field for the attribution of paintings, and will have a major impact on the art world once the findings are announced today.


  • Comparative Analyses:

Analyses of both paintings show how elements unique to the ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’ were replicated in later works, and how the painting contains hidden clues that demonstrate Leonardo da Vinci’s authorship.


  • Expert Views:

Highlight how, in published opinions collected to date, there is not one expert who has viewed the painting that denies its attribution to Da Vinci.


The exhibition includes a variety of interactive kiosks, including a unique aging module linked to Social Media across the world…

A special “Kids’ Tour” is available for younger audiences.


Menarini Asia Pacific, an Italian pharmaceutical firm and leader in its field, was a major sponsor of the Worldwide Premiere of “Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’” in Singapore. “We are delighted to continue and strengthen our support of this fascinating and continuing voyage of discovery of what is possibly the most famous artwork to be discovered in recent history. Menarini supports discovery in the sciences and the arts. Never have we seen the two come together as perfectly as in the “Voyage of Discovery of the Earlier Mona Lisa”.  I trust that you will enjoy this interactive multimedia exhibition that takes visitors on an individual journey into the world of Italian Renaissance.” said the Shanghai President of Menarini Asia Pacific, the premiere sponsor of the exhibition.

 Future Smile Asia

Following their support of Smile Asia in Singapore, Menarini Asia Pacific has chosen, alongside The Mona Lisa Foundation, Future Smile Charitable Foundation –  which provides free reconstructive facial surgery for children suffering from facial deformities throughout Asia – as the event beneficiary for the “Voyage of Discovery of the ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’” exhibition with a corporate donation made after the successful completion of the event. “Let the woman with the most famous smile in the world continue to help giving a new start in life to children and young people across Asia” said Mr. Feldman, who initiated the charitable partnership in 2014.