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Hidden portrait 'found under Mona Lisa', says French scientist

An image of a portrait underneath the Mona Lisa has been found beneath the existing painting using reflective light technology, according to a French scientist.
Pascal 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.

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Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo
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Bones found at site of alleged model's burial

The secret behind the famously enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa, the world's most famous painting, could soon be solved.
Archaeologists on a dig in Italy claim to have discovered the skull of the woman who posed for Leonardo's da Vinci's masterpiece.
The excavation team revealed over the weekend that it had found a crypt after a two-week search at an abandoned convent in Florence.
But the grave beneath St. Ursula convent, believed to be the final resting place of Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo, has now yielded a female-sized skull.

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Lisa Gherardini, the second wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, is recorded as buried in Saint Ursula convent.
The team led by Silvano Vinceti, a former TV producer, is attempting to exhume and identify Gherardini's remains by sending the bones to universities in Italy and abroad, where they will be checked against the DNA of two confirmed relatives of Gherardini.



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'Early Mona Lisa' painting claim disputed

A foundation in Switzerland believes it has scientific evidence to prove that Leonardo Da Vinci painted an earlier version of the Mona Lisa.
The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation claims the painting, discovered in 1913, portrays a younger version of Leonardo's masterpiece in the Louvre.
The foundation is basing its claim on 35 years of research.
But Oxford professor Martin Kemp insists there is "no basis for thinking that there was an earlier portrait".

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Archaeologists' Mona Lisa search in Florence

Archaeologists have unearthed a skeleton in a rare state of preservation in Florence. They believe it may be the body of Lisa Gherardini, the Florentine noblewoman widely believed to have served as the muse for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
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Mona Lisa copy goes on show in Madrid

A copy of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, believed to have been painted at the same time as the original, has gone on display at Madrid's Prado museum.
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Mona Lisa copy reveals new detail

_58226866_monlisa_464.jpg

A painting thought to be the earliest replica of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa has been discovered at Madrid's Prado Museum.
The Prado said it did not realise its significance until a recent restoration revealed hidden layers.
The artwork features the same female figure, but had been covered over with black paint and varnish.
The painting is thought to have been created by one of Leonardo's students alongside the 16th century original.

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Mona Lisa crypt
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Mona Lisa crypt 'found'

The crypt was discovered after a two week search of an abandoned convent by experts using ground penetrating radar and ancient maps and documents.
Professor Silvano Vinceti is leading the hunt for Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo who is widely believed to be the mystery woman behind the 500 year old painting of Mona Lisa.
The crypt was found under the floor of the St Ursula convent in Florence after a foot of modern concrete was removed and unearthed a layer of ancient, 35 inch wide bricks.

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Mona Lisa Painting
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Science has pursued its fascination with the Mona Lisa once again, this time by applying X-ray techniques to understand the shading in her face.
The painting was one of seven Leonardo Da Vinci masterpieces investigated by Philippe Walter and colleagues.
Their investigation describes the ultra-thin layers of glaze and pigment used to achieve seamless transitions from light to dark.
The work is reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

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The Mona Lisa's true identity has been revealed at last. Experts at Heidelberg University library say a manuscript they unearthed reveals that she was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine merchant Franceso del Giocondo.

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Second only to the mystery of her enigmatic smile is another question that has long fascinated art experts: what happened to Mona Lisa's eyebrows?
Mona Lisa: A Parisian engineer thinks he has solved the eyebrow mystery
The eyebrow-free Mona Lisa as she can be seen today
A Parisian engineer who has dedicated 3,000 hours to examining Leonardo Da Vinci's famous portrait now claims to have the answer.
Pascal Cotte says that ultra detailed digital scans of the 16th-century picture allow him to look into the past and see how the Florentine merchant's wife looked before years of restoration work.

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