Paris: There is a portrait hidden beneath the existing painting Mona Lisa by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, a French scientist has claimed. Pascal Cotte says he has found an image of a portrait underneath the existing Mona Lisa painting using reflective light technology.
Cotte said he has spent more than 10 years using the technology to analyse the painting. He claims the earlier portrait lies hidden underneath the surface of Leonardo's most celebrated artwork. A reconstruction shows another image of a sitter looking off to the side, the BBC reported.
The Louvre Museum, where the famous painting is housed, has declined to comment on his claims because it “was not part of the scientific team”.
Leonardo is believed to have worked on the painting between 1503 and 1517 while working in Florence and later in France.
There has long been debate about the Mona Lisa’s identity. But for centuries, it has been widely believed that she is Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a Florentine silk merchant.
But Cotte has claimed his discoveries challenge that theory. He believes the image he has reconstructed underneath the surface of the painting is Leonardo's original Lisa, and that the portrait named Mona Lisa for more than 500 years is, in fact, a different woman.
“The results shatter many myths and alter our vision of Leonardo's masterpiece forever. “When I finished the reconstruction of Lisa Gherardini, I was in front of the portrait and she is totally different to Mona Lisa today. This is not the same woman.”
Download the all new Deccan Chronicle app for Android and iOS to stay up-to-date with latest headlines and news stories in politics, entertainment, sports, technology, business and much more from India and around the world.