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Is the “Nude Mona Lisa” work of Leonardo Da Vinci ?

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Who doesn’t know about Mona Lisa! It is the famous painting in the world by artist Leonardo Da Vinci. It is a half portrait of a women that has been known as the best painting, the most talked and written about, the most visited and the most mimicked portrait in the world. It is also known to be the most valuable work of art all over the globe.


The controversial Monna Vanna


A huge part of the artist collection are held at the Musée Condé du Domaine de Chantilly, on the northern outskirts of Paris, since 1862. A new painting is going rounds with people talking so much about it. A nude portrait of Mona Lisa entitled as ‘Joconde Nue’ and ’Monna Vanna,’ is high on speculation. The charcoal drawing of a topless woman with face similar to that of the world renowned Mona Lisa exposed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, is currently being researched by French artists to find out if the sketch is infect a work of the famous Leonardo himself.

The charcoal sketch has been an attribute of the artist’s collection in the Chantilly. With the revelation about its authorship by the louvre prior to the grand exhibition planned to celebrate the 500th death anniversary of the renowned artist resulted with the onset of the research . The exhibition is scheduled to open its doors to the world in June 2018 in Chantilly and Paris.


The famous painting of Mona Lisa


With the research being progressed for days, the French researchers do believe that it might indeed be the work of the famous artist himself or may be partly executed by him. According to the well known curator at the Musée Condé Matthieu Deldicque, it might be the preparatory sketch made by the artist for a nude oil painting which no longer exists. He also feels that is the researchers are able to link the sketch to the artists and the painting then it might help art historians understand the artist and the time he worked even better precisely. According to him there might be many reasons, influences, meaning and connotations for the painting. Why did he paint a nude Mona Lisa or a nude female?” Deldicque asks. “Is it erotic? Is it a portrait, a portrait of divinity? Is it an allegory of fertility, or love? Of beauty or vanity?

With the speculated painting being under research the past whole month at the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France, the experts also feel that the charcoal sketch might in fact be the first sketch drawn by the artist Leonardo da Vinci before painting the iconic portrait is Mona Lisa.


The charcoal sketch is proved to be the original work from the studio of Leonardo and not any one of the copies that is circulating around the world. It has been in the Condé Museum in Chantilly, north of Paris, for more than 150 years since its purchase by the Duke d’Aumale in 1862 for 7000 Francs.

According to Deldicque, the sketch bears a lot of authenticity of Leonardo. The shadows, face and hands are all worked on by the sfumato technique which is a indiscernible and fine method of gradation which was a favorite of the famous artist. The paintings hand positioning is also similar to the characteristics of Leonardo. Though many differences can be noted the hands and the torso remain almost the same with similar perplexing smile in both the paintings. The charcoal painting has pierced holes suggesting that this sketch could have been used as a backdrop to trace the famous Mona Lisa.

With the advancement in the field of imagery and technology the experts were able to identify the quality in which the drawing has been made, especially the face and the hands quotes Deldicque. The most interesting and intriguing part is the position of the arms of Mona Vanna and the Mona Lisa at the Louvre is very closely identical. Using technical analysis the paper in which the drawing or the sketch is made was confirmed to have been manufactured in a locality somewhere between the present-day Venice and Florence in Northern Italy during Leonardo’s time period.

But many aspects prove that this painting was done by another artist. According to experts and researchers, the face of the Monna Vanna is done by a right handed person but Leonardo is a left handed artists, thus coming to the a theory that this was made by a student or an assistant.


The iconic Louvre Museum of Paris


More has to be investigated before the expert researchers could come to a perfect conclusion about the painting. According to Deldicque “We’re just wondering if the hand of Leonardo da Vinci is present in the drawing.” “It could be, but we have no clear proof of that yet.”

Well for everything to fall into place it will take more research and time. The history of Mona Lisa still remains a mystery. Deldicque says“Among the aspects which remain unclear are the exact identity of the sitter, who commissioned the portrait, how long Leonardo worked on the painting, how long he kept it, and how it came to be in the French royal collection.” The portrait Mona Lisa was begun in Florence in 1503. It is believed to be of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a Florentine cloth merchant named Francesco del Giocondo and thus came the alternative title, “La Gioconda.” Leonardo seems to have taken the portrait to France rather than giving it to the person who commissioned it.

Likewise this sketch of Nude Mona Lisa also remains a huge mystery which has to be solved by the experts and researchers at the French Museum. And they hope to have answers to all the conundrum revolving around the controversial double sketch of the world’s renowned painting in time for the opening of the 500-year anniversary of the artist’s death in 2019. Keep your fingers crossed for the research to be done by then as the painting won’t be available for viewing unless and until the research is done!

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