After 30 years of highly-detailed research, the Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation is stating that the younger Mona Lisa painting is the original version of the well-known Louvre "Mona Lisa"
painted by Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance. It is considered the world's most famous painting.
"We have investigated this painting from every relevant angle and the accumulated information all points to it being an earlier version of the Giaconda in the Louvre," foundation member and art historian Stanley Feldman, told Reuters
states that, "The Irish-born Feldman and his brother David, long involved in the art world, said historical evidence, critical comparison and scientific examination using the most modern techniques supported their view on what it really is."
Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" is known in Italy and France as "La Giaconda" or "La Joconde." It was named after the wife of early 16th century Italian nobleman Francesdo del Giacondo, Lisa Gheradini. However, the commission was never delivered to Giaconda. The Louvre "Mona Lisa" was in Leonardo's possession when he died in France, found later in the collection of King Francois I, who was known as a major Patron of the Arts.
It was during Francis' reign that the magnificent art collection of the French kings had begun, which can still be seen at the Louvre. King Francois I was known as a great patronizer of the great artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, who was persuaded to live his final years in France. Known for painting very little during those latter years, he did bring his most famous works with him which remained in France after his death except for the Isleworth Mona Lisa.
"The Isleworth Mona Lisa has been attributed to Leonardo, and is thought to be the unfinished portrait from which Raphael made his famous sketch (which is in the Louvre museum), and is in no sense a copy of the Louvre Mona Lisa," according to the Reuter article.
Story of the younger Mona Lisa
After a short excursion to Japan, the Isleworth Mona Lisa was placed in a Swiss vault for many years. It was discovered by collector Hugh Blaker in 1913, in an English manor owned by a Somerset nobleman, where it had mysteriously hung for over a century. His discovery led the world to recognize that Leonardo da Vinci had possibly done two Mona Lisa paintings. One was in the Louvre, and the other one went with Blaker to his studio in Isleworth, London, where it was named "the Isleworth Mona Lisa."
When Hugh Blaker died in 1936, American collector Hunry Pulitzer, owner of the Pultitzer galleries in London and Bern, Switzerland, purchased the painting after selling his Kensington estate and all its contents. He would place the painting in a Swiss bank, then writing a book about it, titled "Where is the Mona Lisa?" which was published in 1966. The book was based on his case that the "Isleworth Mona Lisa" was the unfinished portrait of Lisa del Giocondo by Leonardo da Vinci, a fact that art experts refused to take seriously as Pulitzer was the owner of the painting.
It passed to his Swiss business partner on his death in 1979; when she died in 2010, the painting was purchased by an international consortium --- who are its current owners.
At the Geneva opening, a luxurious 300-page volume issued by the Mona Lisa Foundation. Vezzosi, director of the Leonardo museum in the artist's home town of Vinci in central Italy, calls on the critics to keep an open mind. TodayEntertainment
"The book, 'Mona Lisa-Leonardo's Earlier Version,' will permit an unbiased judgement of the claim of this painting to be the earlier portrait, incomplete, of a young Mona Lisa, much younger than that of the Louvre," Vezzosi writes.
United States-based expert Carlo Pedretti and Alessandro Vezzosi, leading Italian Leonardo specialist and another foundation member, are both cautiously supporting the fact there are two versions of the "Mona Lisa." If so, the two "Mona Lisa" paintings would become a major sensation in the art world.