Research confirms Da Vinci painted earlier version of his masterpiece. Preeminent scientist and art historian Salvatore Lorusso proves new data changing perception of how Louvre portrait is viewed,
Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of Lisa del Giocondo ‘Mona Lisa’ is the most famous painting in the world. In his new book; ‘Is the Louvre Mona Lisa Leonardo’s second version?’ (L’Erma di Bretschneider – Roma), an in-depth analysis of the original documents, the historical sources and analytical data, Scientist and Art Historian Professor Salvatore Lorusso provides the evidence which settles a long-standing controversial issue: that the artist painted two versions of his immortal masterpiece – the first in c.1503-06 of a young Lisa and the second, the Louvre Mona Lisa, from c.1513 on.
Given the execution of the documented original portrait of Lisa can now be reliably dated, any question of whether it is the Louvre portrait must be considered in the context of the chronology and evolution of Leonardo’s work. Unquestionable evidence shows Leonardo painted two distinct Mona Lisa paintings with different characteristics at different times: the first, an unfinished version and the second, a more finished version, stylistically and structurally different from the first.
Salvatore Lorusso, Professor at University of Bologna
Lorusso’s research takes a critical analysis of numerous publications by Leonardo experts, a small number of whom, despite the evidence, still maintain that the Louvre Mona Lisa was started c.1503 and worked on until near the end of Leonardo’s life in 1519, which is now proven to be an impossibility.
The historical documents analyzed by Lorusso – many of which have only been discovered recently – show the Louvre Mona Lisa could not have been the original portrait of Lisa del Giocondo started in Florence c. 1503, but instead was likely executed by Leonardo in Rome c.1513-16. Lorusso support this information through an in-depth analysis of the scientific data collected by the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF). Lorusso’s findings prove that the original portrait of Lisa is another version by the great Master, confirming Leonardo painted two Mona Lisas.
About Salvatore Lorusso
Salvatore Lorusso was formerly a full professor at the University of Bologna, the world’s oldest university, which boasts eminent alumni such as Albrecht Durer, Erasmus, Copernicus, Petrarch, Thomas Becket, Umberto Eco and no less than five popes. With a deep interest in both art and science, Lorusso was among the founders of the first Faculty of Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Italy and is editor-in-chief of the historical-technical Journal ‘Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage’ where the human sciences and experimental sciences meet the arts.
His deep experience and scholarship in both science and art is demonstrated in over 440 publications in national and international journals and 24 independent volumes. His expertise constitutes an ideal blend of both science and art with respect to the complex determination of authenticity and attribution in the field of old masters having recently authored a major publication on exactly that topic. In the last few years, he has become a notable expert on Leonardo’s paintings with specific attention to Mona Lisa and is the author of several works on the subject. His biography appears in the 2016 Marquis Edition of Who’s Who in the World.
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