The Mona Lisa at the Prado in Madrid was thought to be just another fine copy, with added eyebrows and an odd black background. But curators at Spain’s national art museum yesterday announced a startling discovery: the painting was actually executed by an artist in Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop at the same time as the original.
It is the first known copy of the most famous painting in history, and a discovery that curators believe sheds new light on the creation of the masterpiece.
Deputy conservator, Gabriele Finaldi, said: “It’s as if we were standing in the workshop itself, and at the next easel. You can see that the artist was working step by step with Leonardo. When Leonardo made a change, he made a change.”
The copy sits in a dimly-lit room awaiting the finishing touches of a two-year restoration, during which its true origin was revealed. Curators decided it needed a face lift because it was going on loan to the Louvre in March. Following X-ray and infrared studies, they were surprised to find a landscape hidden beneath the dark paint behind the subject.
Conservators believe the artist could be Francesco Melzi, one of Leonardo’s favourite pupils. “When you look at the copy, you can imagine that this is what the Mona Lisa looked like in the 16th century,” Mr Finaldi continued. “It’s not just the details and the colour use. It has also been protected from light and dirt for centuries. So what you see if a very reliable appearance.”
Strange Random Mona Lisa Quote:
“Mona Lisa is the only beauty who went through history and retained her reputation.” – Will Rogers (American entertainer, famous for his pithy and homespun humour, 1879-1935)
- Mona Lisa copy was painted by Leonardo’s pupil (independent.co.uk)
- Mona Lisa Copy Shocks The Art World (huffingtonpost.com)
- Early Mona Lisa copy unveiled by Spain’s Prado Museum (cbc.ca)
- Mona Lisa Discovery of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Earliest copy of Mona Lisa reveals her true looks (vancouversun.com)
- What a Real-Time Copy of the Mona Lisa Reveals About Leonardo (time.com)
- ‘Mona Lisa’ copy done hand in hand with da Vinci (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Painting Sheds New Light on the ‘Mona Lisa’ (npr.org)
The arrival of the table, a battered piece of Formica bashed on top of four rough, oversized legs, raised a cry of joy. Never mind that anyone on a normal chair would barely be able to see over the top – here was another small triumph of the new Spanish revolution, the gathering of angry Spaniards of all colours, ages and persuasions that is sweeping across the country and beyond its borders. The table that arrived in Madrid‘s Puerta del Sol square was part of the swirl of creative chaos, naive enthusiasm and pent-up frustration that has transformed it into a makeshift camp for thousand of protesters who call themselves los indignados, the indignant ones.
- Spain reveals pain over cuts and unemployment – The Guardian (news.google.com)
- Spain bans protests ahead of election – The Guardian (news.google.com)
- “Spain Unemployment Protests Staged Ahead Of Sunday Elections” and related posts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Spain polls to open amid protests (bbc.co.uk)
- “Maybe we need a Tahir Moment in Illinois too: Thousands of protesters occupy Puerta del Sol square in Madrid” and related posts (baarswestside.blogspot.com)
Finally, some good news about the economy
The average cost of a wedding in Spain has fallen to 14,390 €, down some 12.7% on what was spent in 2010. Generally the price range is between 8,000 € and 20,000 €. A survey from the FUCI, Federation of Independent Consumers and Users, chose a wedding with a reception for 100 guests in 30 different cities across the country and found that Madrid is the most expensive place to get married with an average cost of 17,550 €, followed by 17,000 € in Cataluña and 16,000 € in Valencia.
Strange Random Wedding Quote:
Look down, you gods,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown!
- Cutting Wedding Costs With a Little Help From Your Friends (dailyfinance.com)
- Cheapflights.co.uk’s Essential Guide to Planning a Wedding Abroad (prnewswire.com)
- Our Wedding Is a Contest (mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com)
- How The Royal Wedding Equates to Commoner Matrimony (visualeconomics.com)