Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Scientist reveals “hidden portrait” underneath Mona Lisa

A portrait inside a portrait – that's the claim one scientist is making, saying that he has discovered a portrait of another woman underneath Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Pascal Cotte revealed the image of the "other woman" Tuesday during a press conference for a Da Vinci exhibition in Shanghai. The image was reconstructed using a pioneering technique called Layer Amplification Method (LAM). The technique uses intense light onto the painting and measures its reflections with a multi-lens camera.

The Mona Lisa, believed to be painted between 1503 and 1517, is said to be the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a Florentine silk merchant, according to experts. But Gherardini, according to Cotte, is meant to be the woman in the hidden portrait while Mona Lisa is a different woman.

"When I finished the reconstruction of Lisa Gherardini, I was in front of the portrait and she is totally different to Mona Lisa today. This is not the same woman," the BBC quoted Cotte as saying.

Cotte also reconstructed another two layers under the hidden portrait – a vague draft with "a larger head and nose, bigger hands but smaller lips" and a Madonna-style figure wearing pearl headdress, according to the BBC.

Cotte has reached the conclusion following more than a decade's research on LAM technology after the Louvre Museum in Paris gave him access to the painting in 2004.

However, the Louvre has declined to comment on Cotte's discovery. Some art experts are also skeptical on his findings. They argue that it is common for artists to paint over an image.

The findings will be displayed in the "Da Vinci – The Genius" exhibition in Shanghai from December 8 to April 7, 2016, along with over 200 items featuring the works of the versatile Italian genius.

AbleMoJah® Nigeria.

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