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The Isleworth Mona Lisa is an early sixteenth-century oil on canvas painting depicting the same subject (Lisa del Giocondo) as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, though with the subject depicted as being a younger age. The painting first came into public view in 1913 when the English connoisseur Hugh Blaker acquired it from a manor house in Somerset, where it was thought to have been hanging for over a century. The lack of historical, stylistic, or scientific evidence required for a definitive attribution has lead to disputes as to the painting's authorship and origins. Ownership of the painting is disputed as well, as an anonymous "distinguished European family" has claimed that the painting's former owner had sold a 25% stake in the painting, but a lawyer stated that the claim was clearly without merit.
The work is either a copy or an earlier version of the more famous Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Both paintings depict a dark-haired woman, Lisa Gherardini, who sits at an angle and is surrounded by landscape behind her. The work measures 84.5 X 64.5 cm, slightly larger than the Louvre Mona Lisa. However, the Isleworth Mona Lisa is notable for various differences, such as the model being noticeably younger, having columns, and is painted on canvas. The canvas is made of hand-woven linen cloth, characterized by: ...simple 'tabby' weaves with an average count of 18 threads per cm2 in the warp and 16 threads per cm2 in the weft, that cross one another regularly, with some variation in thickness. The result is a deformation in which the warp is slightly tighter than the weft.
The Mona Lisa Foundation is a non-profit Foundation, with its seat in Zurich, governed by the laws of Switzerland. The Foundation was entered into the public Commercial Register of the Canton of Zurich, and it is supervised by the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) as the control authority.
The purpose of the foundation is to investigate the evidence that Leonardo da Vinci painted two versions of the Mona Lisa portrait and to present the art history, scientific research and comparative studies of the earlier version of the portrait, historically referred to as the ‘’. Exclusively endowed by the owners of the painting to carry out its objectives, The Mona Lisa Foundation consults and collaborates with museum institutions, scientists, technicians as well as art historians, scholars, and other experts in the fields of scientific research and connoisseurship.
By exhibiting the ‘’ around the world, the foundation heightens public awareness of the masterpiece, while fostering and encouraging dialogue with art historians, scientists, and experts alike, in the compilation of respective publications such as books, films, articles and internet-based content. The foundation is comprised of a Foundation Council and an Advisory Board, all Members of which have a strong background or interest in the arts as well as significant expertise in various other occupations.