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snopes
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Is the painting an authentic da Vinci? Or is it a copy?

The answer may never be known about a work called "La Gioconda" that now hangs in the Portland Museum of Art. The painting, which bears a striking resemblance to Leonardo da Vinci's famous "Mona Lisa," was put on display the day before "The Da Vinci Code" movie began showing at theaters.

Article here

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Ganzfeld
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I, for one, do not believe this painting is even from the same century as da Vinci. If it were, the museum would have released the results of whatever scientific tests they'd done and somebody would be making big bucks on this painting, one way or another. They keep away in storage because they are well aware -- as, I'm guessing, anyone who knows anything about the art of the period would be after taking one look -- that this painting was not even made during da Vinci's lifetime.
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Andrew of Ware, England
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I rfemember going round a stately home in England (sorry, I can't remember which) and they claimed to have a version of the 'Mona Lisa' or 'La Gioconda'. The painting was not as accomplished as the 'real' Mona Lisa (not that I have seen the original). The guide book said that da Vinci painted several versions of the painting and the house, of course, claimed that theirs was the original. (I will do a bit of research and see if I can discover the house.)

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Ganzfeld
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"Bears a striking resemblence..." [Roll Eyes] Why don't they just come out and say it? It's nothing more than a bad copy. It kind of irks me that a museum with some credibility to lose would stoop so low.
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Aud
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According to the article the painting was made "before 1510". While it could be a copy it could also be a preparatory study. Students were taught to copy a master’s work.

If it is a modern copy they could have used a period panel but it's a lot harder to fake craquelure. Plus the Harvard art conservation lab is very prestigious. I doubt they’d let their name be attached to something they knew to be a fake.

While they might be getting record crowds this year there just isn’t that much to be made off of a painting that famous.

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Floater
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I was a common practice a couple of hundred years ago for owners of stately homes to fill them with copies of masterpieces, because, after all, there is just a limited number of originals around and they also tend to be quite costly.

ETA [nitpick] and BTW da Vinci is not a name [/nitpick]

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Ganzfeld
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I don't think it is a modern copy. But I still find it very hard to believe that date. I sure would like to see the results of their tests.
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Ganzfeld
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quote:
Originally posted by Floater:
[nitpick] and BTW da Vinci is not a name [/nitpick]

It is now.
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Floater
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quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
quote:
Originally posted by Floater:
[nitpick] and BTW da Vinci is not a name [/nitpick]

It is now.
It is not now and has never been unless among the ignorants.

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Ganzfeld
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How about Goya? That's not a name either?
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Floater
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It is a name. What's your problem?

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Mycroft
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By modern standards the Mona Lisa is tiny, and is displayed in a corridor. I believe that in the past artist were allowed to set up easels n a much larger foom and copy the painting but now it is supposed to be seen as you walk past.
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Floater
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quote:
Originally posted by Mycroft:
By modern standards the Mona Lisa is tiny, and is displayed in a corridor.

Tiny yes, but not in a corridor. It's in a side room to the Long Gallery, the bottow wing on the floor plan on this site, connecting it with another gallery (the room directly beneath the pyramid).

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mags
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quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
"Bears a striking resemblence..." [Roll Eyes] Why don't they just come out and say it? It's nothing more than a bad copy. It kind of irks me that a museum with some credibility to lose would stoop so low.

I agree, bad copy, and I have seen the original. This fake resembles what many people imagine the Mona Lisa to look like before they actually see it. The Mona Lisa is clearly produced by an expert, and is quite small. That thing is oversize and ugly. No question Leonardo's hand had nothing to do with its production.
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Andrew of Ware, England
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quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
How about Goya? That's not a name either?

'El Greco' as well, I believe.

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Floater
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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England:
quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
How about Goya? That's not a name either?

'El Greco' as well, I believe.
Not as well. Goya's full name was Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, which makes me wonder how anyone can think it's an attribute like da Vinci. Domenikos Theotocopoulos is known as el Greco simply because he was a Greek who lived and worked in Spain. He also signed his paintings that way, so you can just call it his pseudonym or whatever.

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Stoneage Dinosaur
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Call me one of the ignorants [Razz] , but doesn't "da Vinci" just mean "from Vinci", and if this isn't a name then neither is The Duke of Wellington, Simon de Montfort, George Washington etc.

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Floater
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quote:
Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur:
Call me one of the ignorants [Razz] , but doesn't "da Vinci" just mean "from Vinci", and if this isn't a name then neither is The Duke of Wellington, Simon de Montfort, George Washington etc.

The Duke of Wellington is a title, Simon de Montfort and George Washington are names. What else could they be?

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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur:
Call me one of the ignorants [Razz] , but doesn't "da Vinci" just mean "from Vinci", and if this isn't a name then neither is The Duke of Wellington, Simon de Montfort, George Washington etc.

Nobody refers to the Duke of Wellington as "of Wellington". That is the equivalent of referring to the artist as "da Vinci".

Why are you including George Washington? Do you believe he came from a place called Washington?

As far as the article's concerned, the painting does not just "bear a striking resemblance", it's a copy, probably painted by a student.

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Stoneage Dinosaur
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The Duke of Wellington is often referred to as just Wellington, so I suppose in that instance it would be like referring to "Vinci".

In the case of George Washington, his ancestors came from a place called Washington, my point being that there are surnames which come from where a person or their family originates.

Also, Leonardo's sculptor nephew was known as Pierino da Vinci.

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Floater
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quote:
Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur:
The Duke of Wellington is often referred to as just Wellington, so I suppose in that instance it would be like referring to "Vinci".

To distinguish him from [the Duke of] Walla-walla and other dukes. It's still not a name.
quote:

In the case of George Washington, his ancestors came from a place called Washington, my point being that there are surnames which come from where a person or their family originates.

True, but that has nothing to do with Lionardo. There's a difference between assuming something as a family name and call yourself (or be called) something just to make sure you're not confused with someone else with the same name.
quote:

Also, Leonardo's sculptor nephew was known as Pierino da Vinci.

He also came from the the town of Vinci.

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GenYus
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How often did a former president of France get referred to as "de Gaulle" and how is that any different than "de Vinci"?

Location names are often used as surnames. My own surname is related to the town my ancestors came from. But it is not wrong to refer to someone using their last name when you want to use shorthand. If someone said "Leonardo", they could be talking about either the star of the Howard Hughes movie or the Renissance artist. By saying "de Vinci", we know who they are talking about.

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Stoneage Dinosaur
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Interestingly, "de Gaulle" is believed to come from the German "De Walle", so his name means Charles the Wall rather than Charles of France.

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Richard W
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Actually the other Leonardo's surname is "Di Caprio" - does that mean "of Capri"...?
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Stoneage Dinosaur
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According to this site, Di Caprio comes from the Italian word capra, which means goat.

ETA: and I think Da Vinci DiCaprio sounds much better anyway. [lol]

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Jay Temple
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Now you've me curious whether the family of rockers Eddie and Alex originated in a place named Halen.

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Ganzfeld
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A name is not only something one gives oneself or something one is given by ones parents but also that word by which others may identify you. Therefore, there are many places and people whose names were not originally intended to be names but which have become names. Da Vinci is just one example of many.

Since the concept of a surname was not really even around at the time, what do we have to lose by using what has become accepted as his surname as a surname? Nothing. It has become his name. It is his name now (in English): Leonardo da Vinci. That's what we call him.

Confucius wasn't named "Confucius". Christ wasn't named "Christ". The Buddha wasn't named "Buddha". But these are names now, whether or not they were during their lifetimes.

Da Vinci is a name. Get over it.

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Ariadne
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It does sort of look like one of Leonardo's unfinished paintings (such as the St. Jerome in the Vatican), with the sepia-tone underpainting, but the blue sky is a bit odd to me. I think it is more likely that it is a student copy or study because I find it unlikely that Leo would leave a version of the painting undone and start another, and I doubt it was a preparatory study as those were typically done on paper, I think.

I would be interested to know whether the painting is on canvas or wood--the original is on panel.

Also, I seem to recall reading that Leo did paint another version of the Mona Lisa, but it was nude. No cite, just something I vaguely remember from an art history text.

I, too, have seen the original, but I didn't get very close to it due to the huge crowd surrounding the painting. There are little signs that actually point the way to the Mona Lisa. Yes, it is famous, but, um, it's the Louvre...there are just a few other things to look at.

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Jason Threadslayer
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Portland Museum's page on the painting and a better view of the painting. The museum thinks it's a study. I think it could be a basic drawing by the master which a student used for practice (which would explain the odd blue sky).

I can't really tell for sure, but edges of the columns appear to be present.

A few copies of the Mona Lisa (none with columns).

A page mentioning the nude "Mona Lisa", along with a photo of a copy.

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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariadne:
I, too, have seen the original, but I didn't get very close to it due to the huge crowd surrounding the painting. There are little signs that actually point the way to the Mona Lisa. Yes, it is famous, but, um, it's the Louvre...there are just a few other things to look at.

Me, too. However, at the time I was 14 and not as appreciative of art as I am now, so seeing the painting in person didn't help me understand what the fuss was about. My main memories are of the huge crowd and people being yelled at for not turning off their camera flash.

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Ariadne
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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
Portland Museum's page on the painting and a better view of the painting. The museum thinks it's a study. I think it could be a basic drawing by the master which a student used for practice (which would explain the odd blue sky).

I can't really tell for sure, but edges of the columns appear to be present.

A few copies of the Mona Lisa (none with columns).

A page mentioning the nude "Mona Lisa", along with a photo of a copy.

Thank you for mentioning the columns...I had forgotten about them. If this is a study or an early copy, why aren't the columns on the sides more visible? Seems very odd that an early copy or preliminary study would be cropped in the same way that the Mona Lisa has been.

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Rivkah Chaya
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IIRC, the Mona Lisa, the one in the Louvre, doesn't have columns because once when it was stolen, it was cut out of its frame, and the columns cut off. That suggests that at least the painting in question-- the copy-- was made before the Louvre painting was cut.

IMHO, the copy doesn't look unfinished as much as it looks faded.

And FTR, I have seen the painting in the Louvre, but didn't really study it-- as someone said, there were many other things to look at. In fact, when I went into the Mona Lisa room, I wasn't even looking for the Mona Lisa, I was looking for the Raphaels that were in the same room.

And no, his name is not "da Vinci."

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Ganzfeld
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quote:
Originally posted by Rivkah Chaya:
And no, his name is not "da Vinci."

Neither, for that matter, was Billy the Kid's name Billy or Kid. But now his name is Billy the Kid.
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Johnny Slick
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quote:
Originally posted by Rivkah Chaya:
IIRC, the Mona Lisa, the one in the Louvre, doesn't have columns because once when it was stolen, it was cut out of its frame, and the columns cut off. That suggests that at least the painting in question-- the copy-- was made before the Louvre painting was cut.

IMHO, the copy doesn't look unfinished as much as it looks faded.

And FTR, I have seen the painting in the Louvre, but didn't really study it-- as someone said, there were many other things to look at. In fact, when I went into the Mona Lisa room, I wasn't even looking for the Mona Lisa, I was looking for the Raphaels that were in the same room.

And no, his name is not "da Vinci."

Nah, I think it's unfinished. Look at the background. Leonardo was all about putting his subjects in pastoral settings that reflected the virtue of the person. In this version, there's very little of that detail. Whether that's because it was a study done by a student who was more interested in the subject herself or because da Vinci just hadn't completed the painting is a guess I'll leave for someone else. I don't think it's merely faded.

As for the "nude Mona Lisa", um... it looks like a nude, and maybe it was even made by Leonardo, but it doesn't look like the Mona Lisa to me. Leonardo and other Renaissance painters made a living on the side making portraits for local nobility. The fact that it's a woman who's kinda-sorta posed the same way isn't enough for me to call it the "nude Mona Lisa", I'm sorry.

Oh yeah, one more thing: da Vinci. Da Vinci da Vinci da Vinci. Da Vinci da Vinci da Vinci da Vinci da Vinci da Vinci. And furthermore, da Vinci.

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Norton II
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In regards to Wellington and other members of the nobility, it is and was common to refer to them by their titles. I doubt many people know who Richard Neville (1428-1471) was. He was the Earl of Warwick and is usually called Warwick the Kingmaker.

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