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Two original paintings of the mysterious Mona Lisa … a historical and legal controversy settled by technology

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) still holds more mysteries and mysteries more than 500 years after its discovery. With the development of modern technology, the Mona Lisa always remains a target for study and exploration.

Pascal Coty, the French scientist specialized in analyzing paintings and studying the different techniques of ancient paintings, spent more than 15 years studying 1650 images of the painting in detail, which he took with the method of a camera specialized in photographing and analyzing the lower layers of the artwork.

During his analysis of the painting, Coty discovered that Da Vinci used the technique of “spolvero”, an Italian word meaning dust, where the artist draws the initial sketch on paper, then pokes small holes along the outlines of the drawing, then uses charcoal dust to transfer the drawing onto the canvas in a manner. Akin to the use of carbon paper today.

Coty used a camera that magnified the lower layers, showing details hidden beneath the surface of the painting, in which charcoal lines appeared in the areas of the main painting, as well as very fine detail.

Differences appeared between the initial sketch in charcoal on the surface of the painting, especially in the part on the fingers, the forehead and the place of the eyebrows, to confirm that Da Vinci made adjustments to the final composition of the painting, and also raises hope about the possibility of the original paper drawing of the Mona Lisa somewhere.

Coty’s research revealed details not yet visible, such as what looked like a hairpin not in circulation in Florence at the time, indicating that the painting may not have been an allegorical work or depiction of an unreal woman, as opposed to what is known to be a portrait of Lady Lisa Giocondo ( Italian woman, wife of a wealthy silk merchant, from an aristocratic family).

Mona Lisa and Legal Struggles

The Mona Lisa not only holds artistic secrets, it still raises many legal disputes. There is a so-called “Mona Lisa”, which is part of financial and legal mysteries, and raises questions about its original owners.

This painting was discovered in 2012, and was revealed by an organization called the “Mona Lisa Around the World”, and officials of that organization claimed that it was another version of the Mona Lisa da Vinci. And because the Mona Lisa is perhaps the most famous painting in the world, and its painter is considered one of the greatest artists in history, this discovery turned the art world upside down.

The foundation has put together a set of evidence to try to support the claim that the painting is a second copy of the original Mona Lisa, yet the foundation did not claim that it owns the painting, and said that the painting is owned by an international group, and it did not disclose more than that in compliance with its political and legal obligations.

He also notes that Da Vinci did not paint the painting for two different clients, but that he may have painted it for one person at first, and then someone else bought it. Martin Kemp confirmed that the information of the Mona Lisa Foundation is lenient and undocumented, and does not prove that the second painting belongs to Leonardo da Vinci, but he confirms that the infrared examination made by the Louvre on the Mona Lisa indicates that the initial drawing of it was copied from another drawing with the technique of dust.

Professor Jean-Pierre Aspots of the California Graduate University of Fielding was skeptical until the Mona Lisa Foundation took him to Switzerland to see the painting up close. “I got into a very cold basement, and spent about two hours with that painting, but after 5 minutes I realized that this painting must be Leonardo,” Aspots says.

It was not only the shape of the painting that made the academic professor believe that the painting is original, but there is also historical evidence, as Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo da Vinci’s biographer in the sixteenth century, clearly stated that Da Vinci worked on the Mona Lisa for 4 years, then left it incomplete .

This description matches the appearance of the aforementioned Mona Lisa, unlike the famous Mona Lisa attached to the Louvre Museum, and historical records indicate that Leonardo was painting the Mona Lisa for two different agents, which increases the possibility that he completed two separate paintings, one for each client, but one of them was more famous than Other.

The affiliation of the second painting to Da Vinci has not been confirmed, especially with the testimony of Martin Kemp, professor emeritus of art history at the University of Oxford, who confirms that the second painting does not belong to Da Vinci for several reasons, the most important of which is that Giorgio Vasari’s belief that the Mona Lisa was not completed, was due to his departure from Florence before its completion.




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