Study proves world-acclaimed painting has an original version
New tests on a painting billed as the original version of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's 15th century portrait, have produced fresh proof that it is the work of the Italian master, a Swiss-based art foundation said on Wednesday.
The tests, one by a specialist in "sacred geometry" and the other by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, were carried out in the wake of the Geneva unveiling of the painting, the Isleworth Mona Lisa, in September.
"When we add these new findings to the wealth of scientific and physical studies we already had, I believe anyone will find the evidence of a Leonardo attribution overwhelming," David Feldman, vice-president of the foundation, said.
The Mona Lisa, which has been in the Paris Louvre for more than three centuries, has long been regarded as the only one painted by Leonardo - although there have been copies - and claims for the Swiss-held one were dismissed by some experts last year.
But it also won support in the art world, encouraging the Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation - an international group which says it has no financial interest in the work - to pursue efforts to demonstrate its authenticity.
Feldman, an Irish-born international art and stamp dealer, said he was contacted after the public unveiling of the portrait - which shows a much younger woman than in the Louvre - by Italian geometrist Alfonso Rubino.
"He has made extended studies of the geometry of Leonardo's Vitruvian Man - a sketch of a youth with arms and legs extended - "and offered to look at our painting to see if it conformed", Feldman said.
The conclusion by the Padua-based Rubino was that the "Isleworth" portrait - named for a London suburb where it was kept by British art connoisseur Hugh Blaker 80-90 years ago - matched Leonardo's geometry and must be his.
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