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My Covid19 Art Project


I have always found it hard to believe that the Mona Lisa in the Louvre is a portrait of a 24 year old lady. Leonardo would have to be one of the worst artst on the planet if this was his impression of a young lady. The Louvre Mona Lisa IMHO definetly looks like someone who is 30-40 years old.

The younger Mona Lisa has been lost to time. However, Raphel did make a quick ink sketch of it after Leonardo painted it. For my Covid19 project I will try to show what it would havbe looked like.

I will not try to replicate what Leonardo did. I am not a master artist. Instead, I will try to give my impression of what the first Mona Lisa would have looked like based on Raphel's pen sketch. This not something that will take a few days to complete. I will take me time and do as best a job as I can.

This is the research I am doing for this project.

Raphael's sketch done at time of Leonardo's painting in 1506. Ms Lisa del Giocondo was 24 when the painting was done. The painting was commissioned to celebrate the birth of her second son and a new home.

Raphael wourked this sketch into a finished painting "Young land with Unicorn"

This sketch does look like a lady who is in her early 20's. Whereas, the Louvre and Islewworth paintings depict a much older woman in dark colors.

Lisa's husband Francesco Giocondo was a silk merchant. At that time color shifting silk was very popular in Italy. Different colors of silk was woven into it. For example, Michelangelo ussd both green and gold to depict some of his figures in the sistine chapel to suggest the color shift ing silk. So Lisa's portrait would have been very colorful not dull and dark colors like the Louvre's. Note the background and Lisa's bodice are different from the Louvre's and Isleworth paintings. The landscape background is also different.

This painiting wass probably given to the Giocondo family and has since been lost to time.

This sketch seems to have a error in it. The nose seems too long. The length of of the nose should be equall to the distance between the center of the puplis.

Artists also divide also divided the face into thirds. From the chin to the forehead. 1/3. From the base of chin to the base of the nose is 1/3. And 1/3 from the base of nose to eyebrows.

This is my version of Raphlelsl's sketch corrected. IMHO, my lisa looks more like a 24 year old than Raphal's All i did was shorten her nose and shift the mouth over a hare..

Raphel's sketch may have been deliberate or Lisa really looked like Raphels's picture.

The key in portrait drawing is getting the proprtions right. if you get one proportion wrong it affects everything else.

The colors can be off but if the proportions are correct you can still recognize the face. Some artists skew the proprotions deliberately. Also some folks are just born with noses, mouths, and eyes, and chins that don't comfort to usual proportions.

In Raphael's finished portrait from his sketch of Lisa "Young land with Unicorn" Raphael used the same proprotions as in this sketch.

Raphel's sketch is not marked up with with holes. This means this sketch was not used (as a cartoon) to transfer the sketch to for painitng the "Lady with a Unicorn" instead it was a study of the "Mona Lisa" as Leonardo painted it.




This painting is known as the Isleworth Mona Lisa. Leondardo probably painted the face and hands and had a student finish the rest.

This painting and "Leda and the Swan" was given to Leonardo's student and companion Salai. Both paintings are mentioned in Salai's will 1524. After Saladi's death the "Leda" was lost to time. This painting eventaully becaome the Isleworth painting.

The painting looks like it is almost new. Very little aging has occured compared to the Louvre'a painting. However, paint samples and radiocarbon testing dates it to Leonardo's time.

It is not unusual for Leonardo to paint a second version of the "Mona Lisa". Since, Leonardo is known for making copies of his own painitngs by his studio




This painting is in the Louvre in Paris, France It depicts a older lady not one who is 24 year old and in the prime of her life. The lady is also wearing a veil which widows wore.

The painting was in Leonardo's possession when he died and later acquired by King Francis I of France after Leonardo's death. Leonardo told a visitor that the painting was of a "certain Florentine woman, done from life, and was commissioned by Giuliano de’ Medici.

Giuliano much admired Leonardo's 24 year old "Lisa" painting. He commissioned Leonardo to do a similar paintinf but of a older lady friend. from life.

According to the Mona lisa org the most likely canidate for the Louvre painting is a older version using the same pose in the Raphael sketch.




La Bella Principessa (The Beautiful Princess), Pastel and Ink, 13 in × 9.4 in, 1495

Now this painting actually looks like a 24 year old lady!!!

It ia one of the first pastels ever made. It was done to illustrate Ms. Galeazzo Sanseverino Wedding Book in 1496 Ms. Sanseverino the illegitimate daughter of Ludovico Sforza, Leonardo's employer. Unfortunately Ms Sanseverino died in 1496.

You can watch the 2012 PBS documentry "Mystery of a Masterpiece" here

Or, you can read the PBS transcript here

Or, Watch snother documentry here.