'Hidden' portrait under Mona Lisa

A French scientist claims Da Vinci's most celebrated work is in fact painted over another portrait

Paris: Pascal Cotte, a French scientist, spent over 10 years analyzing the Mona Lisa and then claimed that there is an image of a portrait under the existing painting.

File photo of Mona Lisa at the Louvre museum in Paris
File photo of Mona Lisa at the Louvre museum in Paris. Pic/AFP

He found it using reflective light technology. He further said with the help of a reconstruction one can see another image of a sitter looking off to the side. This brings the identity of Lisa into question. The Louvre Museum has declined to comment on his claims.

Cotte was given access to the painting in 2004. The scientist said the portrait found underneath does not appear to be Lisa Gherardini, the woman widely believed to have inspired the painting.

Instead of the direct gaze of the painting the image of the sitter also shows no trace of her enigmatic smile, which has intrigued art lovers for more than 500 years.

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