The art world has recently been abuzz with an intriguing news: there are, in fact, two authentic versions of Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous Mona Lisa. Are you curious? Read on to find out more!
Paris, France is the home of the Louvre Museum, which in turn houses one of the most celebrated paintings in history: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The 500-year-old masterpiece is visited by hundreds of tourists every year, without knowing that they are yet to set their eyes on a younger Lisa painted by the renowned Italian polymath.
The world-famous painting has long been held to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, who was married to a cloth and silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo. Historians believe that the painting was commissioned by Francesco to grace their new home and to celebrate the birth of Andrea, the couple’s second son. Leonardo da Vinci began working on the painting in Florence, Italy, sometime in 1503 or 1504.
However, what many perhaps do not know is the so-called “Earlier Mona Lisa,” said to have been discovered by British artist and collector Hugh Blaker. Stories say he discovered it in Somerset in western England, just before World War I erupted. Also dubbed “The Isleworth Mona Lisa,” (after the suburb in west London where its owner back then lived) the sitter looks considerably younger, and some art enthusiasts have even noted that it looks somewhat unfinished.
Your eyebrows must be twitching in amazement now. How could there be two Mona Lisa paintings, you ask? This clip shared by the The Mona Lisa Foundation explains what makes the Isleworth Lisa authentic—including the fact that Leonardo da Vinci has been known to make more than one version of his well-known paintings.
So, what do you think? Are you convinced of its authenticity? Share your thoughts with us with a comment below!