A Nude Mona Lisa?

Via the Discovery channel, “Leonardo da Vinci, in a Renaissance version of Mad Magazine, may have painted his famous Mona Lisa in a number of ways, including nude. Now, a painting has surfaced that looks much like the original, sparking debate over just how far the master took his iconic painting.

The newly revealed painting, hidden for almost a century within the wood wall of a private library, shows a portrait of a half-naked woman with clear links to the famous (and clothed) Mona Lisa. The work, which documents suggest was at least based on never-seen similar work by Da Vinci, is now on exhibit at the Museo Ideale in the Tuscan town of Vinci, where Da Vinci was born in 1452. The lady in the portrait does not exactly resemble the original Mona Lisa, but there is little doubt it has parallels with the painting hanging at the Louvre museum in Paris.”

While it’s not likely to have been painted by Leonardo, evidence suggests it may be a copy of his work. Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa between 1503-1506. This manner of protraying the female nude is not typical for the time. Although Renaissance painters were rediscovering the human body and looking back to Greek and Roman sculpture, their nude creations were ideal forms representing gods or virtues. This is a woman, rather than a reclining Venus or a weak, defenseless Eve. And she’s looking looking straight at you. How bold.

Maybe that’s what she was smiling about.

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