A French scientist says he’s discovered a hidden portrait under Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.
Using reflective light technology, Pascal Cotte from Lumiere Technology uncovered an image of a different woman behind layers of paint.
In contrast to the Mona Lisa’s mysterious grin, the other woman is looking to the side and not smiling.
Cotte’s work on the Mona Lisa began back in 2004 when The Louvre Museum gave him permission to project a series of intense lights onto the painting.
After using a camera to measure the lights’ reflections, Cotte was able to see between the layers of paint.
Not everyone is convinced. Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford told the BBC that the claims are unconvincing.
“I do not think there are these discrete stages which represent different portraits. I see it as more or less a continuous process of evolution. I am absolutely convinced that the Mona Lisa is Lisa.”
While Mona Lisa’s identity has never been fully confirmed, it’s been widely believed she is Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the third wife of a rich silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo.
In September of this year, archaeologists found bones they believe belong to del Giocondo.
Unfortunately for history buffs, no head was found so scientists are unable to build a reconstruction of her face and match it to the famous portrait.