in

The Discovery Of The “Isleworth Mona Lisa” In 1912 Has Left Experts Baffled To This Day, Wondering If Leonardo Da Vinci’s World-Famous “Mona Lisa” Was Truly One Of A Kind

Alfredo - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is a one-of-a-kind work of art depicting the most famous smile in the world—or is it? In 1912, the Isleworth Mona Lisa was found, bearing a striking resemblance to the one that people have adored for centuries.

Since its discovery, it has remained a monumental mystery in the art world. Did da Vinci paint the same portrait twice? Or is it simply a well-made knock-off? Experts are still debating over the authenticity of the painting.

The story of the Isleworth Mona Lisa started when an English art collector named Hugh Blaker bought the painting from Earl Brownlow.

Brownlow had acquired the painting in Italy and had been under the impression that it was an original work by Leonardo da Vinci. Blaker mounted the painting in his home in the Isleworth district of London, which is how that version of the Mona Lisa got its name.

Later on, John Eyre, Blaker’s stepfather, published in his thesis that the Isleworth Mona Lisa was an earlier version of the Mona Lisa we know today.

He came to the conclusion after analyzing passages from a biography of da Vinci, which claimed that the artist had painted an unfinished portrait of the Mona Lisa in 1503.

In 2008, the Mona Lisa Foundation was created in Switzerland. The sole purpose of the foundation was to prove that the Isleworth Mona Lisa was a genuine work of da Vinci’s. Four years later, the foundation published its findings, stating that it was indeed an authentic painting.

Almost immediately, several experts challenged the confirmation, including a Leonardo da Vinci scholar named Martin Kemp from the University of Oxford. The shape of the face in the Isleworth Mona Lisa did not match the proportions of the one currently hanging in the Louvre Museum.

It also seemed too modern and was unlike the look that Renaissance artists typically tried to portray. The argument for the difference in facial appearance was that it depicted the woman in her younger years.

Alfredo – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2