rfi

On air
  • RFI English Live
  • RFI French Live

Art Culture France La joconde Leonardo da Vinci Louvre Mona Lisa Paris Switzerland

Issued on • Modified

Swiss challenge French over who has first Mona Lisa

media
AFP/Jean-Pierre Muller

New tests on what some say is an early version of the Mona Lisa painting, suggest the claims are accurate, according to the Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation.


New tests on what some say is an early version of the Mona Lisa painting, suggest the claims are accurate, according to the Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation.

Two tests were carried out, one by a specialist in what is called “sacred geometry” and another carbon dating test, by Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

“When we add this new evidence to the existing scientific and physical studies, I think that everyone sees overwhelming proof that this is the work of Leonardo da Vinci”, said the vice-president of the Foundation, David Feldman.

After the public unveiling of the portrait in Geneva in September, Feldman was contacted by the Italian geometrist Alfonso Rubino, who has made extended studies of the geometry of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. “He offered to look at our painting to see if it conformed,” said Feldman.

The painting was discovered in 1913 by British art connoisseur Hugh Blaker and is known as the Isleworth Mona Lisa, after the part of London where it was stored for years.

When Blaker died in 1936, American collector Hunry Pulitzer purchased the painting, and on Pulitzer’s death in 1979, it passed to his business partner.

When she died in 2010, the painting was bought by an international consortium

The established Mona Lisa painting, which is known in France as La Joconde, has been housed in the Louvre museum for three centuries.

The tests on the Isleworth picture suggest that it was painted between 1410 and 1455. It shows a much younger woman than in the Louvre painting, and was probably completed about ten years before that masterpiece.