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Displaying items by tag: Mona Lisa

The stream of news and discoveries about Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa are seemingly never ending. In a shocking twist, it's now been reported that a second version of the iconic portrait might have been discovered in a private collection in St. Petersburg.

Experts are now analyzing the artwork in order to establish whether it is a genuine work by Leonardo da Vinci or simply one of the many convincing replicas in existence around the world.

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An image of a portrait underneath the Mona Lisa has been found beneath the existing painting using reflective light technology, according to a French scientist.

Pascal Cotte said he has spent more than 10 years using the technology to analyze the painting.

He claims the earlier portrait lies hidden underneath the surface of Leonardo's most celebrated artwork.

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Judged by visitor and exhibitor figures—56,000 visitors and 200 galleries from 23 countries this year—Art Cologne, whose 2015 edition closed on April 19, is not quite in the top ten fairs internationally. But as a regional event with a strong focus on Germany’s vibrant art scene and the German, Benelux and eastern European market, it has established itself as an essential stop-off on the art fair circuit for many collectors and dealers. “We need to be here,” said Alex Reding of the Luxembourg gallery Nosbaum Reding.

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Is Leonardo da Vinci's "Head of a Young Woman" the greatest drawing ever made?

Granted, that may sound like a presumptuous question. Yet both the drawing and its subject — an ethereal young beauty who might easily pass for the Mona Lisa's kid sister or one of the elf-maidens in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy — have had plenty of admirers over the years. The Renaissance art scholar Bernard Berenson, for example, called it "one of the finest achievements in all draughtsmanship."

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The world best remembers Leonardo da Vinci as a painter. His "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper" rank among the most famous works in history.

But Leonardo also was an architect, musician, cartographer, mathematician, inventor, engineer, writer, botanist and geologist, among other things. Often described as the archetype for the Renaissance man, Leonardo was curious about the world and how things work. He recorded his observations, thoughts, inventions and theories down on paper, later bound into a number of codices.

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Paris’s Louvre museum was the world’s most visited museum in 2014, keeping its place at the top of the international culture league. More than half of its 9.3 million visitors in 2014 were under 30, a statement said.

Some 100,000 more people visited the Louvre in 2014 than in 2013, a statement said Tuesday, flocking to see world-famous masterpieces like Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa" and the ancient Greek "Winged Victory of Samothrace."

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One cloudy afternoon this month, the line to enter the Louvre stretched around the entrance pyramid, across one long courtyard and into the next. Inside the museum, a crowd more than a dozen deep faced the Mona Lisa, most taking cellphone pictures and selfies. Near the “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” Jean-Michel Borda, visiting from Madrid, paused amid the crush. “It’s like the Métro early in the morning,” he said.

It is the height of summer, and millions of visitors are flocking to the Louvre — the busiest art museum in the world, with 9.3 million visitors last year — and to other great museums across Europe. Every year the numbers grow as new middle classes emerge, especially in Asia and Eastern Europe. Last summer the British Museum had record attendance, and for 2013 as a whole it had 6.7 million visitors, making it the world’s second-most-visited art museum, according to The Art Newspaper. Attendance at the Uffizi in Florence for the first half of the year is up almost 5 percent over last year.

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The Italian art historian Silvano Vinceti announced that he will run a series of DNA tests on a skeleton that could be the remains of Lisa Gheradini, a Florentine woman believed to be the sitter for Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa." Vinceti is attempting to link the skeleton, which was found in a convent in Florence, to the bones of Gheradini’s relatives buried in a nearby chapel. The results should be ready in May or June.

It is believed that Gheradini’s husband, Francesco Del Giocondo, commissioned the portrait to celebrate either his wife’s pregnancy or the purchase of a house around 1502 and 1503. After Del Giocondo’s death, Gheradini became a nun. She died in 1542 at the age of 63 and was said to be buried near the Sant’Orsola convent’s altar. Her family tomb was opened up last August for the first time in centuries in hopes of identifying the model in da Vinci’s painting.  

It is widely believed that "Mona Lisa" was painted sometime between 1503 and 1506, when da Vinci was living in Florence. It now hangs in the Louvre in Paris, where it remains a star attraction. 

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Thursday, 06 June 2013 22:12

Mona Lisa Gets New Lighting at the Louvre

Officials at the Louvre in Paris unveiled a new lighting system for Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452-1519) Mona Lisa. The masterpiece, which is the most visited artwork in the museum, now boasts LED bulbs in a new system by Toshiba. The company has a multi-year agreement with the Louvre and will gradually update all of the museum’s lighting.

Mona Lisa’s new lighting system can be adjusted to highlight the painting’s natural colors. It also minimizes ultraviolet and infrared rays, which can make the work appear faded. Curators at the Louvre worked alongside Toshiba to reach the ideal lighting.

Toshiba has completed updating the lighting in the Louvre’s I.M. Pei-designed outdoor pyramid and a portion of the ceiling lighting has been redone. The company is currently working on the lighting in the museum’s Napoleon Hall.

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Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:44

Tests Reveal Swiss Mona Lisa is the Real Deal

Recent tests on the Isleworth Mona Lisa support the theory that the painting pre-dates the Louvre’s world-famous portrait by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Hidden in a Swiss bank vault for 40 years, the Isleworth Mona Lisa was unveiled to the public on September 27, 2012, inciting rampant speculation about the work’s history. The Louvre’s Mona Lisa, which is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506, has been considered the only one of its kind for centuries.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Alfonso Rubino, a specialist in “sacred geometry,” carried out tests on the 15th century Isleworth portrait after its unveiling. Carbon dating determined that the canvas was manufactured between 1410 and 1455, shooting down claims that the Isleworth Mona Lisa was a late 16th century copy. Rubino’s geometric analysis also supported the da Vinci attribution, explaining that the geometry of the Isleworth portrait matched the geometry used by da Vinci in his other works including the Vitruvian Man (circa 1490).  

The new findings combined with the existing scientific and physical research build a strong case for the Isleworth Mona Lisa. The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation is even on board with the claim, vowing to pursue efforts to prove the portrait’s authenticity.

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