Saturday, February 4, 2012
The Mysterious Mona Lisa by Margot Justes
The Prado Museum conservators have solved another Mona Lisa mystery. Or have they?
It seems that for many hundreds of years the museum held in storage what was long believed to be a replica of the Mona Lisa.
As you might have guessed, it isn't just a copy, using infrared technology they found that the portrait was painted in Leonardo's studio and most likely was painted by one of his students while Leonardo was painting the original Mona Lisa.
The painting at the Prado in Madrid, did not have the flourishing Tuscan landscape that the original portrait had, the background instead was coated in black varnish.
Using infrared reflectography, a system by which they can see underneath to the changes the artist makes before the final finish- known as underdrawings-they found the same landscapes as in the original painting.
It is believed that artists even in Leonardo's time used students, they copied their works of art-after all-we recognize Leonardo's genius now, many centuries later, but in his day, he was one of those 'starving artists' trying to survive and put food on the table. I guess times have not changed that much, the same can be said in this day and age.
I wonder who are the true masters today, where centuries later, after we're long gone volumes will be written about their magnificent talent and far reaching foresight.
I really do wonder...
Till next time,
Hearts & Daggers
A Hotel in Paris