The Isleworth Mona Lisa? Foundation claims Da Vinci's masterpiece had twin

 

A foundation says it will prove to the world today that Leonardo Da Vinci painted an earlier version of the Mona Lisa - a claim doubted by at least one expert on the multifaceted Renaissance artist.

The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation, which has been working with the anonymous owners of the "Isleworth Mona Lisa" says that after 35 years of research, experts believe it predates the famed 16th-century masterpiece by some 11 or 12 years based on regression tests, mathematical comparisons and historical and archival records.

"So far, not one scientific test has been able to disprove that the painting is by Leonardo," said art historian Stanley Feldman, a foundation member and principal author of a foundation book Mona Lisa: Leonardo's Earlier Version to be released today. "We have used methods that were not available to Leonardo 500 years ago."

"When we do a very elementary mathematical test, we have discovered that all of the elements of the two bodies - the two people, the two sitters - are in exactly the same place," Mr Feldman said.

"It strikes us that in order for that to be so accurate, so meticulously exact, only the person who did one did the other ... It's an extraordinary revelation in itself, and we think it's valid."

The Isleworth painting - likewise a portrait of a young woman with an enigmatic smile - is slightly larger, was painted on canvas and has brighter colours than the famed Louvre Museum masterpiece painted on wood. The posture, folded hand positions, faces, expressions and clothing are similar, while the landscape in the background is different.

The foundation says the painting turned up in the home of an English nobleman in the late 1800s - thus the connection to Isleworth, south-west London - and was shipped to the United States for safekeeping during the First World War. After the war it was analysed in Italy, and eventually taken to Switzerland where it remained in a bank vault for the last 40 years, the group said.

The Isleworth Mona Lisa has been known publicly for generations - if forgotten by the broader public - and the book excerpts numerous news headlines about the painting and the possibility of its Da Vinci connection in the early 20th century.

Martin Kemp, an Oxford University professor and Leonardo expert, said in an email that "the reliable primary evidence provides no basis for thinking that there was 'an earlier' portrait of Lisa del Giocondo" - referring to the subject of the painting known as the Mona Lisa in English and La Joconde in French.

Prof Kemp questioned the "debatable interpretations" of source material about the Isleworth painting, and said scientific analysis cannot categorically deny that Da Vinci did not paint it. But he added: "The infrared reflectography and X-ray points very strongly to its not being by Leonardo.

"The Isleworth Mona Lisa miss-translates subtle details of the original, including the sitter's veil, her hair, the translucent layer of her dress, the structure of the hands ..."

Prof Kemp wrote: "The landscape is devoid of atmospheric subtlety. The head, like all other copies, does not capture the profound elusiveness of the original."

The Louvre Museum declined to comment.

AP

Arts and Entertainment
Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL are releasing Plectrum Electrum next month

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Sue Vice
booksAcademic says we should not disregard books because they unexpectedly change genre
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Muscato performs as Michael Crawford in Stars in Their Eyes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
‘Game of Thrones’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus brought her Bangerz tour to London's O2 Arena last night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams will be given a 'meaningful remembrance' at the Emmy Awards

film
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis