Leonardo da Vinci’s Isleworth Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It has been the subject of countless articles, books, and documentaries. But how much do we know about this masterpiece? This article will discuss six important facts about the Isleworth Mona Lisa.
What Is The Isleworth Mona Lisa?
The Isleworth Mona Lisa is a painting of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It got its name from Isleworth, London, where Hugh Blaker had taken it to his studio after rediscovering it. It is thought to be an inspiration for Leonardo da Vinci’s second Mona Lisa, which hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris. A group of private collectors currently own the Isleworth Mona Lisa.
When Was The Isleworth Mona Lisa Discovered?
In 1778, the Isleworth Mona Lisa was believed to have been acquired in Italy by English nobleman James Thomas Benedictus Marwood while making his ‘Grand Tour’ and brought to England as part of an art collection to be housed in his Somerset manor.
Then the painting was re-discovered in 1913 by an art dealer named Hugh Blaker. Blaker had heard about the painting from a friend who had seen it in a private collection in England. He acquired it from the Somerset manor and took it to his studio in Isleworth, England, where it was given its name.
In 1915, John Eyre, an art historian, and expert, wrote a monograph on the painting. This monograph was immediately published in London and New York. The monograph was then followed up with a book in 1922 detailing ten reasons for recognizing it as the earlier version of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. The book documented that the painting was brought to Rome in 1922 and was examined by Leonardo experts. This confirmed its attribution to Da Vinci.
The Earlier Of The Two
By 1951 the Isleworth Mona Lisa was widely recognized as the earlier of the two original versions of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. This was listed in Encyclopedia Americana. Roughly ten years later, the Isleworth version became the subject of another book, Where is the Mona Lisa? by Dr. Henry Pulitzer.
In 1982 the internationally acclaimed French almanac, L’Encyclopédie Quid, acknowledges the existence of two versions of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo: The earlier version in a Swiss bank vault and the later version in the Louvre, Paris. It continued to publish this same listing in subsequent years.
The Mona Lisa Foundation
In 2008, the Mona Lisa Foundation was established in Zurich, Switzerland, with the mission to conduct all necessary research and present art and historical and scientific evidence relating to the Isleworth Mona Lisa. In 2011, the Foundation commissioned world-renowned experts to examine the painting and published their findings in 2012. The results of this study came after 35 years of research and tests.
Not too many years later, The Isleworth Mona Lisa began a worldwide exhibition tour in 2014. The premiere opened at the old Parliament in Singapore with the support of its government agencies and the endorsement of the Singapore Arts Council.
Similarities and Differences Between The Two Paintings
The two paintings are similar in that they are attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. They also share the same subject, Lisa del Giocondo. However, there are some differences between the two. The Isleworth Mona Lisa is considered an earlier version of the painting, while the Louvre Mona Lisa is believed to be a later version. The Isleworth Mona Lisa is significantly larger than the Louvre Mona Lisa. Finally, there are some subtle differences between the two paintings, such as the position of Lisa’s hands and the landscape in the background.
The Isleworth Mona Lisa is painted in Da Vinci’s earlier “Florentine” style. This can be seen in the softness of the subject’s features and the muted colors used in the painting. On the other hand, the Louver Mona Lisa is painted in Da Vinci’s later “High Renaissance” style. This is evidenced by the sharper lines and more vibrant colors used in the painting.
The Golden ratio
Some experts believe that both paintings were designed using the Golden ratio. The Golden ratio is a mathematical proportion believed to be aesthetically pleasing. Many famous works of art, architecture, and nature are thought to be designed using the Golden ratio.
The Isleworth Mona Lisa is a world-renowned painting with a lot of history and significance. Its successor, the Louvre Mona Lisa, is one of the most famous paintings in the world. A lot of mystery surrounds both paintings, but something that can be agreed upon is Da Vinci’s eye for creating masterpieces. Hopefully, you have learned more about the Isleworth Mona Lisa and better understand its significance in history and future impact.