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23-10-2023  (2898 lectures) Categoria: Gioconda

La Gioconda - del FinanceGreedy

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La sonrisa de la Mona Lisa ha confundido a los historiadores del arte durante d茅cadas. 驴Qui茅n es ella? 驴Y por qu茅 est谩 haciendo una expresi贸n tan astuta? Mucho sobre la obra de arte sigue siendo un misterio.

Pero tal vez Mona est谩 sonriendo porque ella y su creador, Leonardo da Vinci, ten铆an un secreto. Al menos, eso es lo que creen algunos expertos, tras un descubrimiento que cambia la historia de la pintura m谩s famosa del mundo.

Su ascenso a la fama

Si bien la Mona Lisa es sin duda la pintura m谩s reconocida de todos los tiempos, nadie sabe con certeza qui茅n es realmente el tema de la pintura. Varios expertos creen que la mujer en cuesti贸n era Lisa Gherardini, la esposa de un comerciante de Florencia, Italia. Sin embargo, sin ning煤n documento relacionado con la comisi贸n, la verdadera identidad de Mona Lisa a煤n no se ha precisado.

Numerosas personas han especulado sobre qui茅n era realmente la figura en la pintura. Han mirado profundamente a los ojos de la pintura, y han estudiado sus labios y su extra帽a sonrisa. Pero el misterio permanece sobre la expresi贸n que est谩 haciendo. 驴Qu茅 es exactamente lo que est谩 tratando de transmitir? Miles visitan el Louvre, Par铆s, todos los d铆as, con la esperanza de resolverlo.

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El hombre detr谩s de la mujer

Se podr铆a argumentar que cualquier pintura de da Vinci atraer铆a tanta atenci贸n. Muchos expertos lo consideran uno de los mejores pintores de todos los tiempos, y eso a pesar del hecho de que menos de 20 de sus pinturas todav铆a existen hoy en d铆a. Curiosamente, los expertos secretos descubiertos sobre la Mona Lisa podr铆an cambiar todo lo que sabemos sobre el artista y su trabajo.

Aquellos que caminan al Louvre para ver la Mona Lisa pueden quedarse sorprendidos por c贸mo se ve realmente. Cuando los visitantes se agolpan frente al retrato, notar谩n una l谩mina de vidrio a prueba de balas que protege la preciosa obra de arte. Impresionante, 驴verdad? Pero el tama帽o de la pintura es posiblemente menor.

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M谩s peque帽o de lo que pensaban

La Mona Lisa mide solo 30 pulgadas por casi 21 pulgadas, un peque帽o retrato en comparaci贸n con algunas de las otras obras famosas de da Vinci. La 脷ltima Cena, por otro lado, se extiende a 15 pies de largo y casi 30 pies de ancho. A煤n as铆, la humilde Mona Lisa ha dejado una marca indeleble en la comunidad art铆stica y m谩s all谩.

Muchos detalles sobre la Mona Lisa siguen siendo objeto de debate. Para empezar, no est谩 claro cu谩ndo da Vinci pint贸 el retrato. Algunos dicen que comenz贸 la pintura en 1503 o 1504. El propio Louvre afirma que trabaj贸 en el proyecto entre 1503 y 1506. Pero otros expertos han notado pistas que sugieren que lo pint贸 un poco m谩s tarde.

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Or铆genes poco claros

historiador italiano y experto en da Vinci, Carlo Pedretti, por ejemplo, dijo que la Mona Lisa no podr铆a haber sido pintada tan temprano. En cambio, declar贸, el retrato representaba el estilo que el pintor renacentista us贸 m谩s tarde en la vida. Por esta raz贸n, sinti贸 que da Vinci no podr铆a haber comenzado el retrato hasta al menos 1513.

Tambi茅n es posible, por supuesto, que da Vinci pasara sus 煤ltimos a帽os perfeccionando la Mona Lisa, explicando as铆 por qu茅 representaba sus t茅cnicas m谩s maduras. Hacia el final de la vida del artista, acept贸 una invitaci贸n del rey Francisco I para mudarse y trabajar en Francia. Algunos dicen que da Vinci trajo la Mona Lisa con 茅l, termin谩ndola all铆 en 1516 o 1517.

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La colecci贸n real

Tendr铆a sentido, teniendo en cuenta que la Mona Lisa ha permanecido en Francia desde la muerte de da Vinci en 1519. Se hab铆a unido a la corte del rey Francisco I, por lo que el monarca se aferr贸 al retrato y lo coloc贸 en la colecci贸n real. Curiosamente, se dice que la Mona Lisa colg贸 en el dormitorio de Napole贸n durante su reinado como emperador de los franceses.

Eventualmente, sin embargo, la Mona Lisa encontr贸 su lugar en el Louvre a principios del siglo 19. A medida que m谩s y m谩s personas comenzaron a visitar la pintura, quer铆an saber a qui茅n estaban mirando. Y algunos expertos creen que han identificado el tema del retrato.

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Qui茅n era ella realmente

Seg煤n muchos especialistas, una ama de casa florentina llamada Lisa Gherardini sirvi贸 de inspiraci贸n para la Mona Lisa. Y aunque no saben mucho sobre la vida de la mujer, se ha postulado una cierta cantidad. A los 15 a帽os, por ejemplo, se cas贸 con Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanobi del Giocondo. Adem谩s, su familia proporcion贸 una humilde dote, lo que sugiere que ella y del Giocondo se casaron por amor.

su vida juntos, Gherardini y del Giocondo tuvieron cinco hijos: Piero, Camilla, Andrea, Giocondo y Marietta. Se mudaron a una casa propia en 1503, el a帽o en que muchos creen que da Vinci pint贸 su retrato. El encargo de la pintura puede haber marcado una celebraci贸n de su nueva propiedad, as铆 como del nacimiento de Andrea.

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脷ltima voluntad y testamento

En 1537 Francesco del Giocondo falleci贸, y su testamento elogi贸 a su esposa. Le devolvi贸 su dote y tambi茅n le entreg贸 ropa y joyas. Seg煤n el libro de 2006 Mona Lisa Revealed de Giuseppe Pallanti, el testamento de Giocondo la nombr贸 como "Mona Lisa, su amada esposa".

En ese momento, la familia del Giocondo no podr铆a haber sabido que un retrato de su matriarca har铆a tantas olas, ni que el hombre detr谩s de la pintura pasar铆a a la historia. Muchos consideran que da Vinci es el mejor ejemplo de un "hombre del Renacimiento", alguien con amplios intereses y curiosidades interminables. Dio la casualidad de que da Vinci sobresali贸 en m煤ltiples 谩reas. Estos inclu铆an matem谩ticas, ingenier铆a, anatom铆a, arquitectura, bot谩nica, escultura y paleontolog铆a.

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Obras de arte ic贸nicas

A煤n as铆, da Vinci es m谩s famoso por ser pintor. Produjo quiz谩s 20 pinturas por su cuenta, seg煤n los expertos, pero solo quedan 15. Las obras maestras supervivientes valen una cantidad impresionante de dinero. En noviembre de 2017, por ejemplo, su pintura Salvator Mundi fue subastada por $ 450.3 millones. 隆S铆!

Y de alguna manera, esa cantidad de dinero palidece en comparaci贸n con el valor de la Mona Lisa de da Vinci. La pintura tiene un r茅cord mundial Guinness por tener la valoraci贸n de seguros m谩s cara de la historia. En 1962, una p贸liza de $ 100 millones protegi贸 la pintura. Hoy en d铆a, esa cobertura tiene un valor de m谩s de $ 852 millones cuando se ajusta a la inflaci贸n.

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Aparecer en los titulares

Todos estos factores, el intrigante tema de la Mona Lisa, el lugar de da Vinci en la historia y el valor de la pintura, explican por qu茅 cualquier nueva informaci贸n sobre el retrato sigue siendo noticia. Con eso en mente, la Fundaci贸n Mona Lisa, un grupo de investigaci贸n sin fines de lucro, tuvo una revelaci贸n impresionante para compartir en 2012. Bas谩ndose en el an谩lisis de rayos X y escaneo infrarrojo y digital, la organizaci贸n postul贸 que da Vinci hab铆a pintado m谩s de una imagen de la ama de casa florentina. 隆S铆, m谩s de una Mona Lisa!

Una segunda pintura conocida como Isleworth Mona Lisa fue supuestamente creada a manos de da Vinci. Durante m谩s de un siglo, esta obra de arte hab铆a estado colgada en una mansi贸n en Somerset, Inglaterra. Dio la casualidad de que un coleccionista de arte y conocedor ingl茅s llamado Hugh Blaker visit贸 la propiedad antes de la Primera Guerra Mundial.

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Algo especial

El propietario original hab铆a comprado la pintura en Italia, influenciado por la afirmaci贸n de que era un original de da Vinci. Y cuando Blaker lo vio m谩s de 100 a帽os despu茅s de eso, 茅l tambi茅n pudo ver que el retrato era algo especial. Entonces, el coleccionista lo compr贸 y finalmente lo transport贸 a sus instalaciones en Isleworth, al oeste de Londres.

El padrastro de Blaker, John R. Eyre, dio m谩s cr茅dito a la propuesta de que la pintura realmente era original de da Vinci. Eyre dirigi贸 un estudio sobre la pieza, postulando finalmente que el artista renacentista hab铆a pintado dos retratos de Gherardini. La versi贸n de Isleworth, afirm贸, fue la primera de la pareja.

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Ligero sesgo

El siguiente propietario de Isleworth Mona Lisa, Henry F. Pulitzer, teoriz贸 a煤n m谩s los or铆genes de la pintura. Public贸 un libro sobre la pieza, pero su contenido puede haber sido sesgado para servir a su autor. Pulitzer afirm贸 que la versi贸n de Isleworth era la verdadera Mona Lisa. La segunda pintura, m谩s famosa, afirm贸, no era de Gherardini, sino de otra persona.

Pero las teor铆as de Blaker, Eyre y Pulitzer sobre la Mona Lisa de Isleworth nunca tuvieron 茅xito entre muchos expertos. Y no ayud贸 que la muerte de Pulitzer en 1979 enviara la pintura a la oscuridad: permaneci贸 encerrada en un banco en Suiza durante casi 30 a帽os. En 2008, sin embargo, la pintura emergi贸 de su lugar de almacenamiento. Y as铆 comenz贸 la investigaci贸n para descubrir la verdad.

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Descubriendo la verdad

Cuando la Mona Lisa de Isleworth volvi贸 a ser el centro de atenci贸n, se form贸 la Fundaci贸n Mona Lisa para determinar la veracidad de las afirmaciones de que da Vinci la hab铆a pintado. Seg煤n la BBC, el vicepresidente David Feldman ha afirmado que la organizaci贸n "no tiene ning煤n inter茅s en la pintura". Y as铆 se esforzaron por "examinar los hechos de la manera m谩s objetiva posible".

Por un lado, da Vinci ocasionalmente produjo varias versiones del mismo tema. Quiz谩s lo m谩s famoso es que el hombre del Renacimiento pint贸 dos copias de la Virgen de las Rocas. Uno de ellos est谩 en exhibici贸n en el Louvre, mientras que el otro cuelga en la National Gallery de Londres.

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El ojo de otro artista

Adem谩s de eso, la fundaci贸n consider贸 el dibujo del aclamado artista Rafael de la Mona Lisa. Hab铆a creado su propio boceto de la Mona Lisa de memoria, habiendo visto el trabajo de da Vinci en progreso alrededor de 1505. El dibujo de Rafael contiene columnas, cuyas bases est谩n presentes en la m谩s famosa Mona Lisa. En la versi贸n de Isleworth, sin embargo, puedes ver las columnas completamente.

Otro punto digno de consideraci贸n es el hecho de que la propia Gherardini parece m谩s joven en el retrato no confirmado. Puede haber sido que del Giocondo encarg贸 la primera en 1503, mientras que otro mecenas llamado Giuliano de 'Medici pidi贸 la segunda versi贸n una d茅cada despu茅s. Esto explicar铆a la aparente diferencia de edad entre las dos mujeres.

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Ganar certeza

Finalmente, un f铆sico investigador de la Universidad de California llamado John Asmus ha apoyado la idea de que hay dos versiones de esta famosa pintura. De hecho, seg煤n Feldman de la Fundaci贸n Mona Lisa, los hallazgos del trabajo revisado por pares de Asmus son casi 100 por ciento ciertos. Refiri茅ndose a esta investigaci贸n, Feldman ha concluido: "El mismo artista pint贸 al menos la cara de Isleworth y Louvre Mona Lisas".

Con eso, Feldman afirm贸: "Si uno niega que Isleworth es de da Vinci, entonces tambi茅n niega la versi贸n del Louvre". Pero no todos los expertos est谩n convencidos de que ambas pinturas vengan de la mano del hombre del Renacimiento. La propia Fundaci贸n Mona Lisa ha sido cuestionada con respecto a sus intenciones de afirmar que la pintura es real.

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Sus verdaderas intenciones

Por un lado, la membres铆a de la junta de la Fundaci贸n Mona Lisa era turbia en 2015, por decir lo menos. Feldman no confirm贸 ni neg贸 que aquellos que compraron la Mona Lisa de Isleworth sirvieron en la junta directiva de la organizaci贸n. Tampoco respondi贸 si los compradores esperaban vender su adquisici贸n como una pintura real de da Vinci.

Otro detalle cuestionable de la Isleworth Mona Lisa fue que el artista la pint贸 sobre lienzo. Cuando da Vinci cre贸 arte, generalmente cepillaba sus aceites sobre madera, no sobre una base de tela. Esto fue especialmente cierto en la 煤ltima parte de su carrera cuando perfeccion贸 su m茅todo. Muy temprano, us贸 un lienzo de lino, pero esta fue una elecci贸n rara para el artista.

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Perder la marca

profesor de historia del arte de la Universidad de Oxford, Martin Kemp, tuvo una de las voces m谩s fuertes contra los hallazgos de la Fundaci贸n Mona Lisa. Dijo que la organizaci贸n utiliz贸 tecnolog铆a infrarroja para revelar dibujos debajo de la superficie de la Mona Lisa de Isleworth, demostrando as铆 que la pintura era original. Sin embargo, el profesor respondi贸 que estas marcas no coincid铆an con las pr谩cticas habituales de preparaci贸n del artista.

hecho, Kemp cre铆a tan firmemente que la Mona Lisa de Isleworth no era una da Vinci original que ni siquiera viaj贸 para verla. 脡l explic贸: "[Vi] nada que me convenciera de que verlo en carne y hueso es de alta prioridad. Me env铆an muchos que no son Leonardos, hasta uno por semana, y tengo que tomar decisiones. Si viajara para ver a cada 'Leonardo' esperanzado, me empobrecer铆a".

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Volver a Florencia

Entonces, dos veredictos diferentes han llegado a la Mona Lisa de Isleworth. Mientras tanto, sin embargo, el potencial da Vinci ha viajado por todo el mundo para exposiciones en Singapur en 2014 y Shanghai en 2016. Luego, en junio de 2019, aterriz贸 de nuevo donde pudo haber sido pintado en primer lugar: en Florencia, Italia.

La exposici贸n florentina tuvo lugar en el Palazzo Bastogi de la ciudad. Y como sucedi贸, esta ocasi贸n marc贸 la primera exhibici贸n europea de Isleworth Mona Lisa en el siglo 21. Y la exhibici贸n finalmente termin贸 con una explosi贸n, cuando una persona an贸nima present贸 un reclamo inesperado por el 25 por ciento de la propiedad de la pintura.

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El que no ser谩 nombrado

Esta persona no identificada proven铆a de una "distinguida familia europea", como dijo a CNN el abogado que los representaba. Pero aunque el experto legal Giovanni Battista Protti estaba feliz de hablar con CNN, no revel贸 el nombre de la persona o personas detr谩s del reclamo. Sin embargo, dijo que el antiguo propietario de Isleworth Mona Lisa hab铆a vendido a su cliente una cuarta parte de su participaci贸n.

El reclamante hizo su movimiento para evitar que la Mona Lisa de Isleworth terminara en una b贸veda nuevamente. A trav茅s de Protti, pidieron a los tribunales italianos que tomaran posesi贸n del potencial da Vinci hasta que pudieran confirmar su propiedad. Sin embargo, la Fundaci贸n Mona Lisa neg贸 las afirmaciones de la familia y prometi贸 que tambi茅n comparecer铆an ante el tribunal.

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Lanzado al p煤blico

Parece que la familia detr谩s del reclamo no estaba interesada en hacer una enorme ganancia inesperada. Protti refut贸: "Como propietarios de la pintura, su [objetivo] es permitir que esta pintura se muestre al p煤blico... Cuando posees este tipo de [obra de arte] tienes que ser un custodio".

Ese mismo argumento podr铆a hacerse para determinar la verdad sobre la Mona Lisa de Isleworth. Tal vez los expertos nunca sabr谩n si es un original de da Vinci o no. Pero como dijo Protti sobre poner la pintura en exhibici贸n, "No es una cuesti贸n de dinero. Es solo una cuesti贸n de paciencia, de algo que hay que hacer. Tiene un valor no solo para los individuos privados, sino para la humanidad".

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M谩s secretos

Los secretos sobre las obras de da Vinci se desentra帽an todos los d铆as. En 2019, por ejemplo, un grupo de especialistas hizo un descubrimiento incre铆ble debajo del lienzo de La Virgen de las Rocas. Es seguro decir que este hallazgo dej贸 al mundo del arte completamente asombrado.

Estas pinturas particulares representan a Jesucristo y su madre Mar铆a, junto con un 谩ngel y Juan el Bautista. Y como mencionamos anteriormente, la versi贸n anterior se exhibe actualmente en el mundialmente famoso museo del Louvre en Par铆s, Francia, mientras que la segunda se encuentra en la National Gallery de Londres.

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Echando un segundo vistazo

Curiosamente, se hizo un descubrimiento intrigante sobre este 煤ltimo trabajo en 2005. Durante ese per铆odo, los expertos de la National Gallery encontraron una composici贸n alternativa de la Virgen debajo de la pintura. Luego, unos 14 a帽os despu茅s, sali贸 a la luz una revisi贸n m谩s amplia gracias a un ambicioso proyecto de investigaci贸n.

Pero primero, en 2005, un grupo de investigadores de la National Gallery descubri贸 un boceto debajo de la pieza. Al final result贸 que, era una composici贸n alternativa de Mar铆a en otra posici贸n.

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Tecnolog铆a especial

El incre铆ble hallazgo se realiz贸 gracias al uso de "t茅cnicas infrarrojas", y los expertos recogieron algunos otros contornos. Luego, a principios de 2019, la galer铆a realiz贸 m谩s investigaciones, ya que se preparaba para abrir una nueva exposici贸n. Sin embargo, pocas personas podr铆an haber predicho lo que se revelar铆a.

En su examen m谩s reciente, el grupo de investigadores escane贸 la pintura explotando una nueva t茅cnica, conocida como macro fluorescencia de rayos X. Esto signific贸 que pudieron descubrir m谩s de los bocetos iniciales de da Vinci debajo de la pieza. Esto fue posible gracias al material de dibujo que el artista hab铆a utilizado, que inclu铆a trazas de zinc.

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El dise帽o abandonado

Gracias a esos escaneos, los expertos pudieron ver dibujos adicionales de Jes煤s y el 谩ngel, junto con el boceto anterior de Mar铆a. Un representante de la National Gallery habl贸 con el peri贸dico brit谩nico The Guardian sobre el descubrimiento. "Por qu茅 Leonardo abandon贸 esta primera composici贸n sigue siendo un misterio", dijeron en agosto de 2019.

El portavoz continu贸: "Tambi茅n se pueden ver huellas de manos resultantes de palmear la imprimaci贸n en el panel para crear una capa uniforme de espesor m谩s o menos uniforme. Probablemente el trabajo de un asistente, pero tal vez incluso por el propio Leonardo". Sin embargo, eso no fue todo, ya que tambi茅n tocaron la composici贸n en s铆.

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Qu茅 significa esto

"Ambas figuras est谩n colocadas m谩s arriba en el dibujo", agreg贸 el representante, "mientras que el 谩ngel, mirando hacia afuera, mira hacia abajo al ni帽o Cristo con lo que parece ser un abrazo mucho m谩s fuerte". Poco tiempo despu茅s, el jefe de conservaci贸n de la galer铆a, Larry Keith, comparti贸 su reacci贸n a los hallazgos.

Durante una entrevista con BBC News en agosto de 2019, Keith explic贸 lo que el descubrimiento signific贸 para 茅l sobre el proceso del pintor. "[Los bocetos] dan una nueva visi贸n de c贸mo estaba pensando da Vinci", dijo. "[Encaja] en una narrativa m谩s amplia de c贸mo lo entendemos como un artista que siempre estaba cambiando, ajustando y revisando".

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驴Qu茅 sigue?

Keith agreg贸: "Ten铆amos conciencia de parte de la composici贸n. Y ahora tenemos mucha m谩s comprensi贸n de todo el acuerdo grupal".

Nosotros, por ejemplo, no podemos esperar a ver qu茅 descubrimientos emocionantes se hacen sobre el trabajo de da Vinci en los pr贸ximos a帽os.

The Mona Lisa鈥檚 smile has confounded art historians for decades. Who is she? And why is he making such a sly expression? Much about the artwork remains a mystery.

But maybe Mona is smiling because she and her creator, Leonardo da Vinci, had a secret. At least, that鈥檚 what some experts believe, following a history-changing discovery of the world鈥檚 most famous painting.

His rise to fame

While the Mona Lisa is undoubtedly the most recognized painting of all time, no one knows for sure who the subject of the painting really is. Several experts believe the woman in question was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a merchant from Florence, Italy. However, without any documents related to the commission, Mona Lisa's true identity has yet to be ascertained.

Numerous people have speculated as to who the figure in the painting really was. They have looked deep into the painting's eyes, and have studied its lips and its strange smile. But the mystery remains about the expression he is making. What exactly are you trying to convey? Thousands visit the Louvre, Paris, every day, hoping to figure it out.

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The man behind the woman

It could be argued that any da Vinci painting would attract that much attention. He is considered by many experts to be one of the greatest painters of all time, and this despite the fact that fewer than 20 of his paintings are still in existence today. Interestingly, secret experts uncovered about the Mona Lisa could change everything we know about the artist and her work.

Those who walk to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa may be surprised by how it really looks. As visitors crowd in front of the portrait, they will notice a sheet of bulletproof glass that protects the precious work of art. Impressive, right? But the size of the painting is possibly smaller.

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Smaller than they thought

The Mona Lisa measures just 30 inches by almost 21 inches, a small portrait compared to some of da Vinci's other famous works. The Last Supper, on the other hand, stretches out to 15 feet long and almost 30 feet wide. Still, the humble Mona Lisa has left an indelible mark on the art community and beyond.

Many details about the Mona Lisa are still under debate. For starters, it's unclear when da Vinci painted the portrait. Some say he began the painting in 1503 or 1504. The Louvre itself claims he worked on the project between 1503 and 1506. But other experts have noted clues that suggest he painted it a bit later.

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Unclear origins

Italian historian and da Vinci expert Carlo Pedretti, for example, said the Mona Lisa could not have been painted that early. Instead, he declared, the portrait represented the style the Renaissance painter used later in life. For this reason, he felt that da Vinci could not have begun portraiture until at least 1513.

It is also possible, of course, that da Vinci spent his later years perfecting the Mona Lisa, thus explaining why it represented his most mature techniques. Towards the end of the artist's life, he accepted an invitation from King Francis I to move and work in France. Some say that da Vinci brought the Mona Lisa with him, finishing it there in 1516 or 1517.

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The royal collection

It would make sense, considering that the Mona Lisa has remained in France since da Vinci's death in 1519. She had joined the court of King Francis I, so the monarch held on to the portrait and placed it in the royal collection. . Interestingly, the Mona Lisa is said to have hung in Napoleon's bedroom during his reign as Emperor of the French.

Eventually, however, the Mona Lisa found its place in the Louvre in the early 19th century. As more and more people began to visit the painting, they wanted to know who they were looking at. And some experts believe they have identified the subject of the portrait.

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Who was she really

According to many specialists, a Florentine housewife named Lisa Gherardini served as the inspiration for the Mona Lisa. And while they don't know much about the woman's life, a certain amount has been postulated. At the age of 15, for example, she married Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanobi del Giocondo. In addition, her family provided a humble dowry, suggesting that she and del Giocondo married for love.

During their life together, Gherardini and del Giocondo had five children: Piero, Camilla, Andrea, Giocondo, and Marietta. They moved into a house of their own in 1503, the year many believe da Vinci painted their portrait. The commission for the painting may have marked a celebration of his new ownership, as well as Andrea's birth.

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Last will and testament

In 1537 Francesco del Giocondo passed away, and his will praised his wife. He returned her dowry and also gave her clothing and jewelry. According to Giuseppe Pallanti's 2006 book Mona Lisa Revealed, Giocondo's will named her as "Mona Lisa, his beloved wife."

At the time, the del Giocondo family could not have known that a portrait of their matriarch would make such waves, nor that the man behind the painting would go down in history. Da Vinci is considered by many to be the ultimate example of a "Renaissance man," someone with wide-ranging interests and endless curiosities. It just so happened that da Vinci excelled in multiple areas. These included mathematics, engineering, anatomy, architecture, botany, sculpture, and paleontology.

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Iconic works of art

Still, da Vinci is more famous for being a painter. He produced perhaps 20 paintings on his own, according to experts, but only 15 remain. The surviving masterpieces are worth an impressive amount of money. In November 2017, for example, his painting Salvator Mundi was auctioned for $450.3 million. Yeah!

And somehow, that amount of money pales in comparison to the value of da Vinci's Mona Lisa. The painting holds a Guinness World Record for having the most expensive insurance valuation in history. In 1962, a $100 million policy protected the painting. Today, that hedge is worth more than $852 million when adjusted for inflation.

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Get in the headlines

All these factors - the intriguing subject of the Mona Lisa, da Vinci's place in history and the value of the painting - explain why any new information about the portrait remains news. With that in mind, the Mona Lisa Foundation, a nonprofit research group, had a stunning revelation to share in 2012. Based on X-ray analysis and digital and infrared scanning, the organization postulated that da Vinci had painted more of an image of the Florentine housewife. Yes, more than one Mona Lisa!

A second painting known as the Isleworth Mona Lisa was supposedly created at the hands of da Vinci. For over a century this work of art had hung in a mansion in Somerset, England. It just so happened that an English connoisseur and art collector named Hugh Blaker visited the property before World War I.

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Something special

The original owner had purchased the painting in Italy, influenced by the claim that it was a da Vinci original. And when Blaker saw it more than 100 years after that, he too could see that the portrait was something special. So the collector bought it and eventually transported it to his facility in Isleworth, West London.

Blaker's stepfather, John R. Eyre, gave further credence to the proposal that the painting really was da Vinci's original. Eyre led a study on the piece, eventually postulating that the Renaissance artist had painted two portraits of Gherardini. Isleworth's version, he claimed, was the pair's first.

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Slight bias

The next owner of the Isleworth Mona Lisa, Henry F. Pulitzer, further theorized the origins of the painting. He published a book on the piece, but its content may have been skewed to serve its author. Pulitzer claimed that the Isleworth version was the real Mona Lisa. The second, more famous painting, he claimed, was not by Gherardini, but by someone else.

But Blaker, Eyre, and Pulitzer's theories about the Isleworth Mona Lisa never caught on with many experts. And it didn't help that Pulitzer's death in 1979 sent the painting into obscurity: It remained locked up in a bank in Switzerland for nearly 30 years. In 2008, however, the painting emerged from its storage location. And so began the investigation to discover the truth.

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Discovering the truth

When the Isleworth Mona Lisa returned to the spotlight, the Mona Lisa Foundation was formed to determine the veracity of claims that da Vinci had painted her. According to the BBC, Vice President David Feldman has stated that the organization "has no interest in the painting". And so they strove to "examine the facts as objectively as possible."

For one thing, da Vinci occasionally produced multiple versions of the same theme. Perhaps most famously, the Renaissance man painted two copies of the Virgin of the Rocks. One of them is on display at the Louvre, while the other hangs at the National Gallery in London.

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The eye of another artist

On top of that, the foundation considered acclaimed artist Rafael's drawing of the Mona Lisa. He had created his own sketch of the Mona Lisa from memory, having seen da Vinci's work in progress around 1505. Raphael's drawing contains columns, the bases of which are present in the more famous Mona Lisa. In the Isleworth version, however, you can see the columns completely.

Another point worth considering is the fact that Gherardini herself appears younger in the unconfirmed portrait. It may have been that del Giocondo commissioned the first in 1503, while another patron named Giuliano de' Medici ordered the second version a decade later. This would explain the apparent age difference between the two women.

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Gain certainty

Finally, a research physicist at the University of California named John Asmus has supported the idea that there are two versions of this famous painting. In fact, according to the Mona Lisa Foundation's Feldman, the findings of Asmus' peer-reviewed work are nearly 100 percent true. Referring to this research, Feldman has concluded: "The same artist painted at least the face of the Isleworth and Louvre Mona Lisas."

With that, Feldman stated: "If one denies that Isleworth is da Vinci's, then one denies the Louvre version as well." But not all experts are convinced that both paintings come from the hand of the Renaissance man. The Mona Lisa Foundation itself has been questioned regarding its intentions to claim that the painting is real.

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His true intentions

For one, the Mona Lisa Foundation's board membership was murky in 2015, to say the least. Feldman neither confirmed nor denied that those who purchased the Isleworth Mona Lisa served on the organization's board of directors. He also did not answer whether the buyers expected to sell their acquisition as an actual da Vinci painting.

Another questionable detail about the Isleworth Mona Lisa was that the artist painted it on canvas. When da Vinci created art, he usually brushed his oils onto wood, not a fabric base. This was especially true in the latter part of his career when he perfected his method. Very early, he used a linen canvas, but this was a rare choice for the artist.

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Miss the mark

Oxford University art history professor Martin Kemp had one of the strongest voices against the Mona Lisa Foundation's findings. He said the organization used infrared technology to reveal drawings below the surface of the Isleworth Mona Lisa, thus proving the painting was original. However, the professor responded that these markings were not consistent with the artist's usual preparation practices.

In fact, Kemp believed so strongly that the Isleworth Mona Lisa was not an original da Vinci that he did not even travel to see it. He explained: "[I saw] nothing to convince me that seeing him in the flesh is a high priority. They send me many non-Leonardos, up to one a week, and I have decisions to make. If I were to travel to see every 'Leonardo ' hopeful, I would be impoverished."

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Back to Florence

So two different verdicts have come in on the Isleworth Mona Lisa. In the meantime, though, the potential da Vinci has traveled the globe for exhibitions in Singapore in 2014 and Shanghai in 2016. Then, in June 2019, he landed back where he may have been painted in the first place: in Florence, Italy. .

The Florentine exhibition took place in the city's Palazzo Bastogi. And as it happened, this occasion marked the first European exhibition of the Isleworth Mona Lisa in the 21st century. And the exhibition finally ended with a bang, when an anonymous person put forward an unexpected claim for 25 per cent ownership of the painting.

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He Who Shall Not Be Named

This unidentified person came from a "distinguished European family," as the lawyer representing them told CNN. But while legal expert Giovanni Battista Protti was happy to speak to CNN, he did not reveal the name of the person or people behind the claim. However, he said the former owner of the Isleworth Mona Lisa had sold a quarter of his stake to his client.

The claimant made his move to prevent the Isleworth Mona Lisa from ending up in a vault again. Through Protti, they asked the Italian courts to seize the potential da Vinci until they could confirm ownership. However, the Mona Lisa Foundation denied the family's claims and promised they would also appear in court.

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Released to the public

It appears that the family behind the claim was not interested in making a huge windfall. Protti rebutted: "As the owners of the painting, your [goal] is to allow this painting to be shown to the public... When you own this type of [art work] you have to be a custodian."

That same argument could be made to determine the truth about the Isleworth Mona Lisa. Perhaps the experts will never know if it is a da Vinci original or not. But as Protti said of putting the painting on display, "It's not a question of money. It's just a question of patience, of something that has to be done. It has value not only for private individuals, but for humanity."

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More secrets

The secrets about da Vinci's works are unraveled every day. In 2019, for example, a group of specialists made an incredible discovery under the canvas of The Virgin of the Rocks. It's safe to say that this find left the art world in complete awe.

These particular paintings depict Jesus Christ and his mother Mary, along with an angel and John the Baptist. And as we mentioned earlier, the former version is currently on display at the world famous Louvre museum in Paris, France, while the latter is at the National Gallery in London.

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Taking a second look

Interestingly, an intriguing discovery was made about this latest work in 2005. During that period, experts at the National Gallery found an alternate composition of the Madonna below the painting. Then, some 14 years later, a broader revision came to light thanks to an ambitious research project.

But first, in 2005, a group of researchers from the National Gallery discovered a sketch underneath the piece. As it turned out, it was an alternative composition of Maria in another position.

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Special technology

The incredible find was made thanks to the use of "infrared techniques", and experts collected some other outlines. Then, in early 2019, the gallery did further research as it prepared to open a new exhibition. However, few people could have predicted what would be revealed.

In their most recent examination, the group of researchers scanned the painting exploiting a new technique, known as macro X-ray fluorescence. This meant they were able to discover more of da Vinci's initial sketches beneath the piece. This was made possible by the drawing material the artist had used, which included trace amounts of zinc.

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The abandoned design

Thanks to those scans, the experts were able to see additional drawings of Jesus and the angel, along with the earlier sketch of Mary. A representative of the National Gallery spoke to Britain's Guardian newspaper about the discovery. "Why Leonardo abandoned this first composition remains a mystery," they said in August 2019.

The spokesman continued: "You can also see handprints resulting from patting the primer on the panel to create a uniform layer of more or less uniform thickness. Probably the work of an assistant, but perhaps even by Leonardo himself." However, that was not all, as they also played the composition itself.

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What does this mean

"Both figures are positioned higher in the drawing," the rep added, "while the angel, looking out, looks down at the Christ child with what appears to be a much tighter hug." A short time later, the gallery's chief curator, Larry Keith, shared his reaction to the finds.

During an interview with BBC News in August 2019, Keith explained what the discovery meant to him about the painter's process. "[The sketches] give a new insight into how da Vinci was thinking," he said. "[It] fits into a larger narrative of how we understand him as an artist who was always changing and adjusting and revising."

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Whats Next?

Keith added: "We had an awareness of part of the songwriting. And now we have a lot more understanding of the whole group arrangement."

We, for one, can't wait to see what exciting discoveries are made about da Vinci's work in the years to come.