Reseacher Discovers Hidden Drawings Under Da Vinci’s Famous Mona Lisa Painting

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Da Vinci was a sneaky genious, who still constantly manages to surprise, impress and captivate people with his composition in his works of art and his own little quirks.

And now it turns out that there is a small alternative drawing behind the world-famous painting, Mona Lisa. A researcher named Pascal Cotte has discovered an unprecedented draft drawing under the masterpiece.


He has spent the last 15 years, since 2004 studying the painting and the Louvre Museum allowed him to take pictures and scans.

He is the inventor of an ultra sensitive multispectral camera called Lumiere Technology.

He has examined around 1650 images of the portrait – and the technique allows him to boost the layers in the painting with, for example, light reflection at 13 different wavelengths.


His technique led the camera to detect lines made with charcoal under the painting. Here he discovered that Da Vinci had made use of the ‘spolverotechnique, which is an old method by which one can transfer his sketches and clothes onto the canvas.

You know – a bit like when you put a piece of baking paper over a drawing where it is transparent enough for you to draw along the lines.

This is the first time that this technique has been discovered in the picture – and no one knew that he had initially made a draft of the Mona Lisa before painting her.


The draft also shows a completely different version of the Mona Lisa than the final result.

The draft shows that the Mona Lisa originally had a hairpin drawn over the woman’s head – which at the time the painting was created was a very unusual hairstyle. Which indicates that the Mona Lisa could have originally been intended as being a portrait of a ‘supernatural‘ woman or a goddess, the researcher explains.

Read more about the story on Artnet

Photos: Artnet

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