There has long been various lines of speculation about Mona Lisa, including the existence of an earlier version of the painting. A painting purported to be the earlier version was revealed in 2012. The accuracy of the statements are supported by The Mona Lisa Foundation, who have set up an extensive website around the history of the Mona Lisa and other versions, and also prepared a 21 minute documentary with various professionals providing their knowledge on the topic. [more inside]
Drawings of the elements of CMS detector, in the style of Leonardo da Vinci "Sergio Cittolin is first and foremost a physicist in search of answers to the mysteries of the universe. Yet he also has an artistic bent, and his talent for drawing has woven itself nicely into his 30 years of work at CERN. The result is a collection of Leonardo da Vinci-style illustrations that brighten CERN hallways, a book, and the covers of a number of technical documents." (via)
The Prado Museum in Madrid has what they had considered to be an inferior late-era replica of the Mona Lisa, a portrait surrounded by black. But when conservators compared infrared images of their copy with images taken in 2004 from the Leonardo's masterpiece, they found that the Prado replica closely resembled early under-drawings covered by the Mona Lisa everyone sees. Yesterday, Prado held a news conference to announce that their restoration efforts are nearly done and displayed the work in progress. The comparison is striking, showing details that might have been visible when the Mona Lisa was fresh, 500 years ago. The Guardian has more details and a high-detail portion of the apprentice's painting, believed to be by Francesco Melzi. [more inside]
“But I decided on the Mona Lisa, which was the smallest painting and the easiest to transport.” “So there was no chance,” asked the court, “that you decided on it because it was the most valuable painting?” - From Vanity Fair, the twisting, engaging story of how the Mona Lisa was stolen in broad daylight in 1911. (via)
Are figures in a Florentine altar panel attributed to Italian artist Andrea del Verrocchio actually by Leonardo da Vinci? "The Baptistery figures, if accepted as Leonardo's, would be the only extant sculptures made in the artist's lifetime..." Related ARTNews article, additional Smithsonian Magazine article, National Gallery of Art writeup related to the additional Smithsonian Magazine article, and the High Museum's upcoming Leonardo exhibit.
Ever hear about the time Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire were taken in by the police under suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa?