Which of these four versions of the Mona Lisa is the original? Click the picture to reveal…

Prado’s Mona Lisa

The Islesworth Mona Lisa

The Vernon Mona Lisa

The Louvre Mona Lisa

Before 2010 the Prado version was believed to be a worthless copy from the early 16th century. It had a black background however, during the restoration this was removed, and the real background was revealed to be near identical to the original. This discovery radically changed the value of Prado’s Mona Lisa as it is now believed to be created by an apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci.

The Islesworth Mona Lisa is very similar to the Louvre version. The main difference is the woman in the painting is much younger. A swiss non-profit organisation announced that after 35 years of research they had discovered the painting was an unfinished earlier portrait of the Mona Lisa. This made headlines globally, as Leonardo da Vinci did few paintings so finding a new one is a big deal.

Known as the Vernon copy because it was consigned to auction by the descendants of William H. Vernon. The Vernon family had long sought to get the painting authenticated however the nearest experts could get was that it was painted by a left-handed artist which Leonardo was. The last time it was shown to the public in 1982 the controversy on its authenticity was reported, in the New York Times they called it ‘The American Mona Lisa’.

The Louvre painting was done by Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci between 1503 and 1506. The painting became famous after being stolen in 1911, by an employee of the Louvre posing as a member of maintenance staff and hiding the painting under his smock. It was missing for 3 years before being sold to the Florence museum in 1914. The painting is so coveted, the Louvre has a climate-controlled room built especially for it, costing an estimated $7 million.

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