The Mona Lisa Foundation


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Historical Evidence

The three main historical accounts surrounding the emergence of ‘Mona Lisa’, those of Giorgio Vasari, Antonio de Beatis and Gian Paolo Lomazzo are totally different from each other, and were written decades apart. Taken together, these accounts point to two distinct and different portraits, one being of the young Mona Lisa, and the second to a ‘Florentine woman’, or ‘La Gioconda’...
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Until as recently as the 1950s, connoisseurship was the most important basis for the authentication of artwork. Even though connoisseurship may be based on experience, many experts and scholars do not always agree. The opinions of connoisseurs are also susceptible to change, often based on new evidence, further reflection and study, or simply second thoughts. Connoisseurship is not a ‘finite’ science, but the art world still relies heavily on the opinions of experts...
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Critical Comparisons

The comparison between the 'Earlier Mona Lisa' and the Louvre version is one of the most significant elements. The most important comparison is, of course, that between the earlier and the Louvre Mona Lisas, showing both the similarities and the differences between the two paintings, and what can be concluded from these comparisons. Some similarities are: the pose; the veil; the profiles; the hands; the clothing; the loggia setting and the foreground landscape; and the right elbow resting on the unseen arm of the chair...
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Physical and Scientific Examinations

The authentication of a painting cannot be based on Science alone, but the results of certain scientific tests can disprove an attribution. Over the last 35 years, every recognized test and examination has been performed on the earlier Mona Lisa. By examining such scientific elements as Leonardo's use of mathematics; technologically advanced tests like Ultraviolet Light, Infrared Luminescence, and X-Radiography; scientific comparisons of both the Earlier and Louvre Mona Lisas; examination of the canvas; and Leonardo's use of pigments, help provide strong scientific evidence that Leonardo painted this portrait...
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Learn about the Earlier Mona Lisa's history of origin...