17 thoughts on “More on the Mona Lisa

  1. Suzanna Toske

    First of all, I was actually really intrigued that there was possibly another artist sitting beside Leonardo, mimicking his every move. Second of all, it makes me think that without this copy, art historians wouldn’t have been able to develop more on Leonardo’s technique and skill. It’s almost like a blessing that there was someone there, copying Leonardo’s every brush stroke.

  2. dgray

    It was a blessing, I found the original to provide greater insight into the actual appearance of the original Mona Lisa. I understand that its difficult to clean a painting without damaging it but the copy expresses a greater depiction of life in Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. The greater visual of the background, the plumpness in her face, the redness of her cheeks, even the transparency of her gown. I actually prefer the copy itself over the original at the moment

  3. Catherine Perrin

    Before reading this article I knew there were copies of “The Mona Lisa” but had no idea that there was highly accurate painting featured in Prado in Madrid. I found it interesting that historians believe that this painting was made at about the same time as the original and that they think that the artist who created it was sitting the in same room as Leonardo copying his every brushstroke. Because historians think it was made by copying the specific brushstrokes, it can be used to learn more about Leonardo’s way of constructing a masterpiece. To me it seems like a good idea to use the copy instead of the original to run tests on in order to study the original. But at the same time, this painting was created at the same time by a different artist, who is not known, what gives the historians the right to pick and choose what painting they mess up in the name of preservation?

  4. aparrish

    I didn’t even know that there was a copy of the Mona Lisa in existence! This article was really interesting, I find art restoration/conservation to be a really fascinating process. It is really neat that this copy was restored and that it allowed art historians to see the changes that Leonardo himself had made. This makes me want to know who exactly was sitting with Da Vinci when he made the Mona Lisa, and what was the purpose of making that painting? The copy that has been restored is so much brighter and crisper than Leonardo’s, and it makes me wonder if the original would look more like that as well.

  5. Virginia

    This is very interesting, I would love to see the difference between the true Mona Lisa by Leonardo and the copy made by the man sitting next to him. It’s surprising that the copy is not more talked about, I wish I knew more about the differences between the real Mona Lisa and this copy in Madrid. It’s lucky there are such good restoration methods out there that art historians are able to clean the copy of the Mona Lisa to really take a good look at the subtle differences, I only wish they would allow the real Mona Lisa to be cleaned so we could all see the differences.

  6. Lauren Boyle

    There are several things I found fascinating when reading this article. One thing I found interesting was how the researchers are bale to use technology in order to further their knowledge of the art. With this technology they are able to discover things about the paintings that would otherwise go undetected by the naked eye. As seen here, with the seemingly insignificant painted copy by anonymous of one of the most revered and recognized paintings in history- has jumped to the forefront in the field of art history, in doing so re-sparking the debate on whether or not to restore Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. The fact that people today could see the path of the painter- the brushstrokes, where the artist made a mistake and covered something up, where something was resized- centuries after is was painted is just amazing to me. Another thing I found very interesting was the fact that we are also able to tell by the lines and pattern of the strokes that the painting is NOT a copy Leonardo made himself. Like handwriting, every artists style is different as is his or her technique, while after reading about this in the article, it makes sense, I find it interesting because I had never thought of it before.

  7. Margaret Baxter

    This is really interesting technology. I am so impressed that they could determine that the second painter was painting the copy at the same time that Leonardo was creating the original.That is so cool. Before this class, I was unaware that technology like this existed and that we can now see what is under all the layers of paint. Because we can do this, we now can have a clearer picture of what the artists’ techniques were and what he actually saw.

  8. Chantel McKinley

    This is a very interesting article on the Mona Lisa. I did not know that there was two potraits of the Mona Lisa that was interesting to learn. I was wondering then if the copy was painted at the same time as the orginial than could it have been a person from Leonardo’s workshop that was with him? What reason then would Leonardo have to want two portraits of the Mona Lisa? I think that is great that the Louvre wants to borrow the copy of the Mona Lisa to exchange out the original. Then this copy must be almost as beautiful as the original.

  9. Lelia Hyman

    I find it extremely irritating that the Louvre refuses to clean the Mona Lisa. I understand concerns about damaging such an iconic work of art, however, as the article said, we have technology and experience today that we didn’t have years ago. I think that there are art restorers who are good enough and experienced enough to do the job well. Having said that, I think that there is hope for a restoration in the future, even if it is far away, because of the discovery of this copy. If it looks so much different than Leonardo’s painting, the original must look different too. I can’t wait to see the restored Mona Lisa.

  10. Shilpa Sadarangani

    I also found it irritating that the Louvre refuses to restore the original Mona Lisa. Judging by the discoveries Ms. Gonzalez made, it seems that there is even more to the painting than what people today seem to think. While their reasons for not wanting to are understandable, I still think that it is worth a try since the discoveries that could be made would offer a deeper understanding of Da Vinci and his painting style. There were a few things about this article that I did find appealing. For instance, the armrest Gonzalez found in the Prado’s Mona Lisa makes me wonder if there are more objects in the painting that we are missing? Additionally, the method that Gonzalez used to restore the Prado’s version is interesting. I did not know that we had developed technology to allow us to analyze paintings layer by layer. Finally, the image produced after the restoration process was complete is very different, and much more vibrant, than the original. It would be interesting to look at the paintings side by side and compare them in person.

  11. ogreco

    I find this article to be very interesting not only because of the two paintings being painted in tandem but also the way that Ms. Gonzalez came about this discovery. It is so impressive that she was able to find such information using the infrared lighting and getting into the extreme details such as realizing almost stroke for stroke were the same. My question is why did it take this long to realize? This kind of stuff has been around for a few years now. And also another thing that is irritating to me is that they have no problem restoring this painting of the Mona Lisa but Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is an issue. If they find that they are both painted at the same time and the same place, they should be treated very similarly. I understand that the Mona Lisa is an iconic painting but this new discovery should make the second Mona Lisa just as iconic.

  12. Saydi Juliar

    Wow! I’m extremely interested in art and restoration, and this is truly a start for an urge to restore other paintings and to find new discoveries such as this. I absolutely loved the fact that the article allowed you to view the Mona Lisa done by Leonardo and the copy one was underneath. It gave insight into what was being seen. However, it also makes me wonder if the meaning and iconography behind the painting is different than what we have come to believe.

  13. MacKenzie Sloan

    I had no idea that it was even a common practice for pupils to sit next to their teachers and copy their every line or brushstroke. If it happened to be a double commission, would the patron not be upset that they were not receiving a Leonardo original?
    I was also surprised to learn about the infrared technology to see under layers of paint, I had no idea such a practice even existed.
    I also agree with above comments stating their irritation that the Louvre refuses to clean the original Mona Lisa. So much seems to have been learned from the Prado copy; imagine how much could be learned from the Leonardo version. I would think that art historians would be too intrigued to see the details to leave them covered like that.

  14. Alaina Haws

    I believe that the choice to leave the original painting unrestored is the intelligent choice. While it would serve the intrigue of the curators of the Louvre (and other purveyors of art), the general public would be in an uproar over the change to the beautiful painting by Da Vinci. This copy is the perfect opportunity to study the workings and technique of Da Vinci without changing the original Mona Lisa.

  15. Leo Schiller

    Very unfortunate that when I will visit Louvre this winter brake, painting will be already in Madrid. Very unfortunate….
    Anyway, looks like Mona Lisa has has more secretes that we thought.
    Indeed as any scientist, I am very curious to see, what is hidden under the layers of original painting, but in meanwhile I would say that the theory about student of Leonardo seems reasonable. The next step is to compare works of Leonardo’s pupils, like Salai, or d’ Oggione with the copy of ML.

  16. Holly Bliss

    This is very interesting. I don’t mind paintings being cleaned and I wouldn’t mind the Mona Lisa being cleaned. If they painted or removed paint, I would be upset. I find it interesting that the copy has eyebrows and her smile is a little more pronounced. The backgrounds are similar, but the topography is actually pretty different. I’m curious is a cleaning would show more contrast in Leonardo’s original, thus making further similarities between the two.

  17. Brooke Coleman

    This is really interesting to me because I wanted to learn more of a background on Mona Lisa. Finding out that there was someone behind the actual artist is really interesting to me. I do not have a lot of prior knowledge about this piece, so when my friends went and saw it in person I was in shock at the size because I thought it was much larger. It makes me wonder if he hadn’t been there to see Leonardo and learn his technique if it would be carried out the same way.


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