Expert says ‘earlier Mona Lisa’ not Leonardo’s work

The Isleworth Mona Lisa. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

SAN JOSE, Calif. (PRNewswire) – NBC’s Today Show reported as to the possibility of an earlier version by the hand of Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci of Mona Lisa, the most famous painting in the world. The consortium who purchased the so-called Isleworth Mona Lisa and changed the painting’s name to Earlier Version Mona Lisa claims it is by the maestro. While some experts suggest the painting is a mere copy, a handful of art historians believe it to be an earlier, unfinished version by Leonardo da Vinci himself.

Caroline Cocciardi, the author of Leonardo’s Knots claims she can prove the knot pattern to be found on the Earlier Version Mona Lisa is not by the hand of Leonardo da Vinci.

“We have several knot drawings done by Leonardo da Vinci in 1490, the year this so-called Earlier Version Mona Lisa was supposedly painted. Leonardo was at the top of his game mixing artistic design with elaborate mathematical patterns. We have five Codex notebook pages by Leonardo that are standalone mathematical knot gems.”

Cocciardi adds, “Leonardo’s knots are his personal signature. No copyist has successfully captured the intricacies of the ‘Mona Lisa Knot,’ which have been painstakingly and brilliantly executed. Whoever painted the knots on The Earlier Mona Lisa was a journeyman at best and demonstrated no knowledge of mathematics.”

Knot mathematician Emeritus Professor Kenneth C. Millet, Department of Mathematics, University of California, Santa Barbara, conducted a mathematical analysis of Leonardo’s knot art, such as the “Mona Lisa Knot” found on the bodice of her dress. Professor Millet’s findings were published in the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts. “Leonardo da Vinci as an artist and as a mathematician was in a league of his own, a master in complex knotted designs,” said Millet.

In an interview given to The Art Newspaper, Martin Kemp, author of the newly released book Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi, agrees with Cocciardi’s knot findings. Kemp goes on describing “sloppily executed elements – such as the mistake in the interlaced knot design on the crossed bands, or the clumsy folds at the top of the robe,” errors that Kemp attributes to an assistant.

Cocciardi adds, “When you see the interlocking complexity executed in Accademia Vinciana six mandalas you see Leonardo’s genius displayed on the most minuscule of scales. Leonardo’s knot art speaks for itself.”

“Art history, mathematical analysis, and high technology will cooperate more closely in the future and contribute to the development of new methodologies for art authentication,” concludes Cocciardi.

Cocciardi’s book Leonardo’s Knots was highlighted in The Art Newspaper, stating “a new way of thinking is addressed by Caroline Cocciardi, who explores the many potential variants of knots drawn by Leonardo.”

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