Director of the Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci
Alessandro Vezzosi stands not only as one of the most influential living experts on Leonardo da Vinci, but arguably also the most credible current authority on the subject of Mona Lisa.
Though born in Florence in 1950, his family is originally from Vinci, in Tuscany, the birthplace of Leonardo, where he currently resides. From 1993 he has managed the Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci, along with the nascent ‘Garden of Leonardo and of Utopia’.
Art critic, ‘Leonardist’, expert on interdisciplinary studies and creative museology, he is also the author of hundreds of exhibits, publications and conferences, in Italy and abroad (from the United States to Japan) on Leonardo Da Vinci and the Renaissance, contemporary art and design. He recently organised and curated major exhibitions in the USA and Japan on the theme of Mona Lisa.
Amongst others, he was the first scholar from the Armand Hammer Centre for Leonardo Studies from the University of California in Los Angeles, directed by Carlo Pedretti; he taught at the University of Progetto in Reggio Emilia; and he is the honorary Professor at the Academy of Arts and Design of Florence.
He began as an artist from 1964 to 1971 winning more than 50 prizes in painting competitions. In the Seventies he was the founder of the Leonardisimi Archives and of ‘memory-instruments of the region’; he coordinated ‘Art Chronicle’ and he was the historical-artistic consultant of the Comune of Vinci; he collaborated on the publication on Vinci; the life and paintings of Leonardo; and modern art.
JOHN F. ASMUS
Research Physicist, University of California, San Diego
Since the early 1970s, Professor John Asmus has been an authoritative Research Physicist at the Institute for Pure and Applied Physical Sciences, at the University of California, San Diego.
Prof. Asmus and his team developed specialized equipment to assist the city of Venice, Italy, in cleaning and restoring many of its invaluable marble statues. Through laser holography, and NDT (Non Destructive Testing), holographic interferograms could reveal hidden defects in artwork. New laser crystal equipment, employing a Nd:YAG, rather than a ruby, was developed and shipped to Venice with excellent results.
Based on some of this work, Prof. Asmus was approached to try and determine if any remains existed of Leonardo’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ fresco under Vasari’s subsequent murals, in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. In 1976, he and his team designed, built and tested a 1 MHz ultrasonic digital imaging system with an automated stepping-motor-controlled transducer scanner, and the following year ultrasonically mapped the masonry strata beneath the Vasari paintings. After having located a 2m x 5m plane ‘island’, 7mm beneath the surface of the East wall, the project was turned over to a local ‘art diagnostician’. Coincidentally, in 1974, H. Travers Newton and John R. Spencer of the Williamstown Regional Art Conservation Laboratory, MA, and Duke University, NC, also began a search in the ‘Salone dei 500’ for relics of the ‘Battle of Anghiari’. Subsequent work by others has also been performed, but if anything remains of Leonardo’s extraordinary work, it is out of sight for the present. However, research on this subject continues to make headlines.
Armed with decades of experience in the science of art diagnostics, Prof. Asmus was commissioned to ‘clarify’ the Louvre ‘Mona Lisa’, to see what it could look like without cracks and the brown ‘smoggy atmosphere’. One of the discoveries made as a result of this test from the mid-1980s was that Leonardo had originally painted the female image with a necklace, and had subsequently painted it over. Ten years after first questioning the validity of the discovery, the Louvre’s own new X-rays confirmed the existence of the necklace. This is mentioned to reiterate the authority and professionalism of Prof. Asmus.
A few years later, Prof. Asmus performed an independent investigation of the ‘Isleworth Mona Lisa’, as the ‘Earlier Version’ was known at that time, and that is how the painting is referred to in his reports, which are presented in the foundation’s book.
Associate Professor, St.Petersburg State Electrotechnical University
Vadim Parfenov was born in St.Petersburg on August 12, 1962. He graduated from St.Petersburg State Polytechnic University in 1985. He received his PhD degree in 2002 (speciality – “Quantum electronics”). In 1985-2007 he worked at the Research Center “S.I.Vavilov State Optical Institute” (SOI), where he was involved in research into the development of lasers for various applications (including scientific, industrial and defense). His knowledge and experience cover many areas of modern laser physics and optics including phase conjugation, non-linear optics, wavefront sensing, interferometry and laser material processing. While he worked at the SOI, he also taught students in his role as part-time Associate Professor at several state universities in St.Petersburg. In 2008 he was appointed to the permanent position of Associate Professor at St.Petersburg State Electrotechnical University.
For the past 10 years his research has focused on the use of laser and opto-electronic techniques in Cultural Heritage preservation. He pioneered the practical use of laser cleaning and 3D laser scanning in art conservation in St.Petersburg, where he has had numerous collaborative works with leading museums including The State Russian museum, The Hermitage museum, The museum-preserve “Tsarskoye Selo” and The State museum of Urban Sculpture. He has also collaborated with The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in the use of 3D laser scanning for documentation and replication of artworks. He was the first to introduce the non-contact replication of out-door monuments in Russia based on use of 3D laser scanning and CNC milling. In 2010 he established the project on replication of sculpture “Primavera” (of XVIII century, Italy) at the museum-preserve “Tsarskoye Selo”. It was the first case study of non-contact replication of marble sculptures in Russia.
Vadim Parfenov has been involved in numerous conferences and seminars since 1986, both in Russia and abroad. He organized and co-chaired several conferences and workshops such as: “Light for Artworks conservation” (2006, 2010 and 2012 , St.Petersburg) and “Laser Cleaning and Artworks Conservation” (2007 and 2013, St.Petersburg). In 2005-2006 he was a member of the Management Committee of the European Union COST Action G7 “Artwork Conservation by Laser”. In 2014 he became a member of the Permanent Scientific Committee of LACONA (Lasers for Artwork Conservation).
He has published numerous scientific papers and several books.
ÁTILA SOARES DA COSTA FILHO
Professor in Art History, Contemporary Painting, Philosophy and Sociology
Átila Soares da Costa Filho is perhaps the only scholar in Latin America to have significantly researched the famous ‘Isleworth Mona Lisa‘ (by Leonardo da Vinci), a painting frequently overlooked even in major academic circles, and has written numerous articles on this subject, in both the Portuguese and Italian languages.
Born in 1973 in the city of Niterói, the ancient capital of Rio de Janeiro, Átila Soares developed, from very early on, a strong interest and inclination into the world of art (theoretical and practical), and research on Anthropology.
In 1996 he graduated from the Industrial Design program at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. He then obtained postgraduate titles on Art History, Philosophy and Sociology, combined with his teaching in higher education, and its connection with research and production of text material. Some of his greatest influences have come from the ideas of the medievalist Jean Delumeau, semiologist Umberto Eco, and historian Peter Burke.
He focussed his research in the Arts (Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque), particularly of Portugal, Spain and Italy, as well as those of Southeast Asia. His primary methodology aims to understand the whole process of the creation of societies based on anthropological issues that are eternal to the human condition. Today, in addition to having several of his articles published in print and websites alike, he is also a contributor to the prestigious magazine, “Leituras da História”, and to the Italian-Brazilian newspaper, “Fanfulla”, which is recognized by the Government of Italy as the principal news pubication of the Italian community in Brazil – the largest in the world outside of Italy. Soares is also the author of a study published in 2010 and 2012, in which was proposed an unprecedented theory about the Essenian-Gnostic inspirations in the person and work of the Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli. He is currently developing research into how the Brazilian north-east folk-art keeps the Romanesque Arts alive.
Head of the School of Art at Aberystwyth University’s School of Art and Keeper of the School of Art Museum
Robert Meyrick is Head of the School of Art at Aberystwyth University’s School of Art and Keeper of the School of Art Museum. He trained in fine art and art history and now writes on 20th-century British art, the history of printmaking, and the visual culture of Wales. Through building and working with collections and archives at Aberystwyth, often working closely with the artists themselves or their heirs, his research involves original investigation and improved insights into the work of lesser known British artists and collectors. In 2001 he was invited to become an Honorary Fellow of the in ‘recognition of his services to the art of printmaking in Britain’. Robert’s research is disseminated though the publication of books, catalogues raisonné and articles, as well as curated exhibitions.
Robert has staged exhibitions for museums and galleries throughout the UK. His retrospective exhibition of paintings by the Welsh artist Christopher Williams was shown at the National Library of Wales throughout this Summer and his exhibition of prints by Sydney Lee RA can be seen at the Royal Academy of Arts in London next Spring. In addition to his numerous monographs, he has regularly contributed chapters for books, journals and catalogues. He has toured exhibitions of paintings by Hugh Blaker and published widely on Blaker’s activities as artist, advisor and collector, most notably his 2004 article for the Oxford University Press Journal of the History of Collections – ‘Hugh Blaker: Doing his Bit for the Moderns’.
Forensic Imaging Specialist
Joe Mullins is one of the world’s foremost Forensic Imaging Specialists, and is based in Washington D.C. Mr. Mullins has a degree in Fine Art from the Savannah College of Art & Design, and a degree in Fine Art and Graphic Design from James Madison University. He has received extensive training in this specialization, including in Advanced Facial Reconstruction at the University of Oklahoma, in Digital Facial Reconstruction at the University of Dundee, Scotland, and in Forensic Facial Imaging at the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Quantico, VA. Mr. Mullins currently does consulting work for the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies; and he teaches Facial Reconstruction at the New York Academy of Art; at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, and at the Art League., Alexandria, VA. He is the author of the article on ‘Age Progression and Regression’, in the newly published book ‘Craniofacial Identification’.
Alfonso Rubino was born in Mesagne (Brindisi) January 7, 1946. He lived 18 years in Lecce. Since 1965, he lives in Padova. He graduated in Civil Engineering at the University of Padua, and has worked in public and private institutions dealing with water projects and major infrastructure.
Passionate about graphology, he has discovered a mathematical paradigm that explains the process of pattern recognition and writing. These studies resulted in the physical-mathematical concept of energy-harmonic geometric shapes.
The discovery that shape is in fact a new kind of energy independent of space-time has led to further research in the field of geometry applied to architecture and works of art.
He has come to the conclusion that many ancient monuments and many works of art, when brought to the rules of geometry, are iconograms that resonate with harmonic energy. In 2008 he published a book with Roberto Mosca entitled “The Triple Cinta”, where he developed, in terms of ancient sacred geometry, the study of certain symbols, artifacts and architecture of the city of Osimo (Ancona).
The geometry of the beauty in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci is the development and application of the theory of harmonic Vitruvian man to his works.
Alfonso Rubino has held numerous conferences and seminars since 1995 both in Italy and abroad (France, Spain, Georgia). In 2006 he was invited by the Italian Embassy in Tbilisi-Georgia at the local university to produce a report on the paleo-Christian Armenian church of the first centuries.
The author has studied and published, mostly on the internet, sacred geometrical patterns of many monuments and works of art.
Alfonso Rubino – [email protected]
Assistant Alfonso Rubino for communications-Luca Solimeo – [email protected]
Dr. JEAN-PIERRE ISBOUTS
Graduate Professor, Fielding Graduate University
Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts is a European-born art historian known for his best-selling publications on art and biblical archaeology, published by National Geographic. Born in Holland in 1954, he studied ancient Greek and Latin before continuing his graduate studies in 16th century Italian art at Leiden University. He emigrated to the United States in 1979 to pursue his doctoral research at Columbia University in New York.
He is the author of numerous books, articles and documentaries on art and archaeology, including the 1993 publication of The Renaissance of Florence, which was subsequently translated in seven languages, including Japanese. In 2007, National Geographic Society published his book The Biblical World, an in-depth survey of the art, literature and cultural milieu of the Near East during the genesis of biblical narratives. The book rapidly became an international bestseller, and has since been followed by two other National Geographic books written by Dr. Isbouts.
In 2013, Dr. Isbouts and Dr. Christopher Heath Brown co-authored a book entitled “The Mona Lisa Myth,” aimed at establishing a chronology of both the Early Version and the Louvre version of the Mona Lisa as autograph works by Leonardo, within the context of Leonardo’s late oeuvre and early Cinquecento art. The book is currently scheduled for publication in December, 2013.
Dr. Isbouts is graduate professor in several PhD programs at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA (www.fielding.edu). His website is www.jpisbouts.org.
Albert Sauteur, born 1950 and living in Switzerland is a painter and is recently credited with the theory of binocular perspective.
Starting off as a teacher, he later devoted himself since 1990 entirely to painting and the study of vision related to painting and painters. During his observations, he soon realized that the perspective in art from the Renaissance till today does not properly reflect what someone is seeing exactly. He thus reinvented the science of perspective and first publicized his work at a conference on “Discoveries” in Paris in 2011.
Later that year at OMPI (World Organisation of Intellectual Property), Geneva he heard about The Earlier Mona Lisa which fascinated him greatly as he believed that Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the few if not unique artists that understood binocular perspective and reflected it his later work. The fact that there is a difference in the spacing of Mona Lisa’s eyes when comparing the earlier version with the Louvre version is not just a sign that one is not copied from the other, but the ten years difference in their executions reflects Leonardo’s evolving realization of the binocular perspective.
Professor Sauteur is currently refining his work using Leonardo’s two Mona Lisas as a core to his presentations. His work is growing in recognition. It was recently published in the Swiss Migros journal which has one of the largest circulations in the country and is currently the invited speaker for a number of conferences on the subject of vision and perspective.
For more information please visit his website www.albertsauteur.ch