The Mona Lisa || The Secrets of Mona Lisa || Leonardo da Vinci Famous Painting~ Documentary

the Mona Lisa bewitching seductive


in the minds of millions she is the

ultimate work of art endlessly

photographed and admired yet behind the

enigmatic smile she remains a mystery

who was she

why was she painted and what has made

her the world's most famous painting

after 500 years in the spotlight the

Mona Lisa is finally giving up her

secrets centuries-old documents are at

last revealing long-forgotten truths

this is wonderful I've got a shiver down

my spine state of the art technology is

taking us beneath the painted surface to

decode astonishing new evidence


wow that's quite a big discoveries

this investigation the first full

forensic examination of the latest

discoveries takes me round the world in

the hunt for the truth

about Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece

with exclusive access and some

extraordinary encounters the first

impression was I did well not to jump

backwards in in shock these revelations

will change everything we thought we

knew about history's most enigmatic work

of art that's great to reach straight a

new discovery and unlock the secrets of

the Mona Lisa all of this together marks

an extraordinary moment in the history

of art but more than that this is quite

simply one of the stories of the century



500 years ago a man painted a woman the

man was Leonardo da Vinci artist

inventor genius and the result of his

work was the inscrutable portrait we now

know as the Mona Lisa it's a masterpiece

but one of the few works he actually

finished so what draws us to the Mona

Lisa she's not a famous monarch or a

legendary historical figure we know

hardly anything about her so what is it

about this picture that grips the human

imagination for so many centuries I want

to begin my investigation by comparing

notes with the detective who's been on

the case for more than 30 years

one of the world's leading experts on

Leonardo da Vinci Oxford Professor

Martin Kemp has spent much of his life

obsessed by the mystery of the Mona Lisa

what do you think is that the key to the

Mona Lisa's extraordinary stature as

without doubt the world's most famous

painting well it has to be something

inherent in the picture some things are

famous for being famous and we live in

an age of celebrity and lots of

celebrities are famous for being famous

but they're not going to last this has

gone on for ages it is just

extraordinary you've got this sense of a

something which is beyond pigment and

beyond a good likeness and being beyond

a face and it it just has that totally

uncanny living presence

it's very daring at the time for a woman

in a portrait to look at you know

woman's portrait simply didn't do that

and I think the ambiguity the the tease

the visual tease is something that learn

how to absolutely cultivated

look at the Mona Lisa and you can't help

feeling there's more going on than meets

the eye if her teasing smiles a question

mark the paintings are riddle what makes

a human being live and breathe what

forces govern the world we live in

Leonardo thought about these questions

as deeply as anyone and behind this

breathtakingly lifelike image lay years

of investigation into spheres of

knowledge like geology and Anatomy some

of which were forbidden by the church

tantalizing evidence for the research

that went into the Mona Lisa lies hidden

in Windsor Castle amongst the gems of

the Royal Collection is an intriguing

clue to the genesis of the portrait a

page from what might be called the real

da Vinci Code if you want to see or have

some sense of just how much work there

was behind the surface of the picture

then this is a great place to start

it's sheet of drawings by Leonardo's own

hand and what does it contain

in faint outline look here it's a bit

like the Cheshire Cat it's the Mona

Lisa's smile without the Mona Lisa

attached it may well have been

Leonardo's first groupings towards his

idea for the painting it's a series of

studies of the human mouth the motions

of the mouth how the mouth puckers how

the mouth bears its teeth you have a

very strong sense that for Leonardo

every picture is a kind of encyclopedia

entry and this is just that part of it

dealing with the mouth it's just the tip

of the iceberg

the Mona Lisa is the work into which

Leonardo poured everything he knew about

humanity and the world that surrounds us

with its ceaseless play of light and

shade but there's a mystery there too

and it's staring us in the face who is

the woman with the enigmatic smile it's

a question that has fuelled all kinds of

speculation ranging from the ingenious

to the crackpot she's a pregnant mother

to be she's a prostitute

she's even a man in drag but if you look

beyond the theories there are clues to

her true identity

Florence 1500 after many years away

Leonardo da Vinci has returned to the

city of his youth he's come back to work

on ambitious military projects for

powerful man he says he's too busy to

paint portraits of wealthy aristocrats

who clamor after him

yet according to one writer Leonardo

somehow finds time to paint the portrait

not of a noblewoman but of a humble

merchants wife called Lisa it was here

that Leonardo da Vinci began the most

famous painting in the world and it was

here that Giorgio Vasari the inventor of

the very idea of the Renaissance the

author of the very first book about the

Renaissance produced Exhibit A in the

case of the Mona Lisa the very first

account of the painting who was she she

was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo a

rich merchant he commissioned Leonardo

to create her portrait and Leonardo

responded with a picture says Vasari so

miraculously lifelike that it seems to

be made of flesh not paint Leonardo he

says wanted to avoid the melancholy

that dominates so many other portraits

so he employed musicians entertainers

buffoons to keep her amused so there you

have it the wife of Francesco del

Giocondo and the smile caused by

entertainers hired by the artist an

open-and-shut case or is it

how can we be sure that the sari was

right and that Leonardo did indeed paint

Lisa del Giocondo after all Vasari wrote

his account 30 years after Leonardo's

death and although he did his homework

here in Florence he never disclosed his

sources so could it just be hearsay some

inaccurate local legend for centuries

there was no way of telling

then suddenly new evidence emerged from

a completely unexpected source in 2006 a

research scholar working in the

university library of heidelberg turned

up this what it is is a page from a copy

of Cicero the ancient Roman author a

book that was once owned here in

Florence by a man called Augustine or

Vespucci and not only does it have

Cicero's text but it's got the speeches

commentaries and this particular passage

is crucial because in it Cicero is

discussing a Pelley's the ancient Greek

artist and his remarks prompt Vespucci

to make his own notes his marginal note

and what he writes it's a kind of

bombshell mr. Leonardo studies he says a

Pelley's he did just the same thing as

Leonardo in his portrait of Lisa del

Giocondo and best of all there's a date

October 1503 said this was written

almost immediately after this book she

must have seen the portrait of Lisa del

Giocondo eaten Leonardo da Vinci's

workshop this is coal dust and it proves

that Vasari was definitely right in at

least one sense all along Leonardo

definitely did paint a portrait Lisa del



there you have it independent testimony

from a man in Florence in 1503 who

probably saw the picture still wet on

the artist's easel but now there's

another question why did Leonardo paint

the Lisa when the great and powerful

couldn't coax a picture from him

why agree to paint this obscure woman

one man has made it his life's work to

uncover forgotten secrets about Lisa

Giuseppe pelant II has found new details

in the city archive historical dynamite

beginning with the house where Lisa

daughter of the gardenias was born

on this street this is the street where

the Mona Lisa once lived

yes Lisa leave it in the dark and narrow

street of Florence

what was her family background

a la magic the magic parte de la

famiglia I don't know Pete cognac to

Johnny so there was no a Dobby Nash

Dobby not ELISA era un antique abou tiga

para la virgen de la Llana

a footrace for Martha in abbis attorney

Downey de una familia en una gran

dedicate Super K Y get our Dini no net

below my una Casa propia fidelity we

never had their own house endowed

Giuseppe's discoveries have deepened the

mystery if Lisa's origins were so humble

why did the notoriously choosy Leonardo

consent to paint her in another part of


giuseppe believes he's found the answer

some of me pura vida de la casa

Eduardo Bay Lisa and contrato Francesco

del Giocondo esposa Francesco del

Giocondo the the place is there it is

important for another reason because in

front of this building leave the cell

Piero Leonardo's father her own said it

again Lisa Gherardini was living here at

the time his father was living now yes

Pez okay Francesco Kay Leonardo C estado

da ba Bou a travel it Babu Kakui

la familia del different didn't our da

Vinci de vive quasi de fronteira Cassidy

Mona Lisa

trot raccoon SEO no not Roja leg amento

Francesco del Giocondo Eric ent


selfie are only a few in fluent e

important image i dissidents

so he was a you're saying that Francesco

del Giocondo the marksman he was

actually a client of Leonardo's father's

yes well this is all new yes it's all

new for the first time we have a

concrete connection between Leonardo and

Lisa not only were they neighbors their

families did business together and

there's more

Giuseppe tells me that according to

police records of the time

Francesco had a bit of a reputation

described as GAD rules or meaning

swaggering he wasn't just a merchant on

the rise but an aggressive deal maker

who'd stop at almost nothing to get his

way maybe this is the real reason

leonardo agreed to paint his wife maybe

francesca made him an offer he couldn't


in the parish church of San Lorenzo

there's another crucial piece of

evidence something that had slipped

through the net of history until just a

few years ago when Giuseppe found it the

record of Mona Lisa's death wonderful


the handwriting isn't very easy to

follow because the entries in these

books weren't actually made by notaries

like Leonardo da Vinci's father they

were actually made by the priests in the

church but I think I have found her here

she is this is wonderful oh I've got a

shiver down my spine

Lisa Donna for thee Francesco del


so Lisa the wife of Francesco del

Giocondo Mori died on the 15th of July

1542 just I think what I love about this

is this is truth now what could be more

true than the record of somebody's death

she was a real person she was a real

person and there's one other sentence in

this entry which my friend Pawlenty

didn't mention it says that she was

buried in Santa Ursula he told me that

but what he didn't say is this last

sentence told certain dual capital for

words she took with her the whole

capital what that means is that her body

was followed by the whole body of the

church of San Lorenzo so what is

conjured up by this is a very very grand

funeral and for this brief moment in

July 1542 she was a very very important

person in the life of the city everybody

in Florence would have

known that Mona Lisa had passed away

a spectacular funeral dozens of canons

chaplains and clerics the whole del


clan walking with Lisa's coffin

Francesco had died five years earlier

but he made sure he provided for all

this pomp and ceremony in his will where

she's described as his beloved faithful


Lisa del Giocondo was laid to rest in

the now ruined convent of Santa Ursula

beyond here we can't follow her though

we've learned a lot

Leonardo definitely knew Lisa definitely

painted her portrait

but if one riddles been answered there's

still another mystery to solve how could

we be certain that Leonardo's portrait

of Lisa and the portrait in the Louvre

are one of the same


so what are the facts according to the

sorry Leonardo painted Lisa smiling in

Florence for speeches marginal notes

confirmed that it happened in 1503 the

picture in the Louvre shows a woman

smiling so far so good

but other things don't add up Vasari

describes eyebrows but the Louvre

portrait doesn't have eyebrows Vasari

tells us Leonardo painted Lisa for

Francesco del Giocondo

but Francesco never owned the portrait

we now call the Mona Lisa Leonardo had

it with him when he died most troubling

of all is an eyewitness account written

by a man called Antonio de Bay artists

he was actually shown the picture that's

now in the Louvre by Leonardo himself at

the end of his life Leonardo said he'd

been asked to paint this portrait not I

Francesco del Giocondo but by someone

completely different

a noble patron Giuliano de Medici it

simply doesn't make sense it's almost as

if we might be talking about different

paintings so I'm beginning to wonder

whether it's not possible Leonardo did

paint two versions of the same painting

on several occasions I'm beginning to

wonder if it's not possible that he did

indeed finish his portrait of the Mona

Lisa here in Florence but he did indeed

give it to Francesco del Giocondo and

that the portrait of Mona Lisa in Paris

is a second version is it possible that

there might be more than one Mona Lisa

the idea is not as strange as you might

think Leonardo did habitually revisit

the same subject more than once


I've come to Singapore to see for the

first time a picture that might actually

be Leonardo's first version of the


it's owned by an anonymous consortium of

businessmen and is currently locked away

deep in the bowels of a state-of-the-art

high-security storage facility so could

this be the first Mona Lisa I've come

7,000 miles to see you clammy

the backgrounds you might almost say

kind of roughing in but the face huh

face is really something she's younger

she's smiling things a lot to be said

for first impressions and the first

impression was I did well not to jump

backwards in in shock

it's too good in my opinion for any of

the other school of Leonardo painters

any dangerous things like this very

dangerous to say this is definitely

painted but they are not intervention

well I can't say that but I think it's

not beyond the realms of possibility

that this is the picture that Francesco

del Giocondo took and then the planar

dough goes off paints another picture

based on the memory of this picture and

that's the Mona Lisa we know in the

Louvre it's very teasing that small very

tease and this version of the Mona Lisa

first hit the headlines in 1914 British

art dealer Hugh Blaker bought it from a

private family collection and was

convinced he'd stumbled across an early

Leonardo he kept it in his eyes or Worth

studios and it became known as the

eyes'll worth Mona Lisa

one thing in its favor was its

similarity to this pencil sketch copy of

the Mona Lisa done in Florence in 1504

by Leonardo's contemporary Raphael which

seems to show how the painting looked in

its original state

yet after a century of supporters

detractors and different owners opinion

on the eyes'll worth painting is still

divided one man who is convinced that

Leonardo painted two Mona Lisa's his

jean-pierre is bounced he was so

impressed by the eyes'll worth portrait

he wrote a book about it so what would

lead you to think that the izalith

picture was indeed painted in 1503 what

is to say that it wasn't painted in 1553

well and I don't know about you but when

you talk about a copy usually a copy

tries to imitates the original this is

not a copy there are so many different

things about this particular Isleworth

version that do not appear in the Louvre

first lets me take one example the

columns the portrait is framed by two

robust Doric columns why do we know that

those columns existed in 1503 and not

later on because there is Raphael he

makes a sketch now what do we have on

both sides we have the columns that

appear in the owl Worth they do not

appear in the newer version let's talk

about the record written by debby artist

secretary to Cardinal Aragon who visited

Leonardo in 1516 which is seriously

puzzling which is seriously puzzling but

here is here we have an eyewitness

account here they are in the room with

Leonardo and he says yeah this this was

done at the request of Juliana vintage

instigate instigates Your Honor I think

what he was doing at this time is give

Juliana credit Giuliano bailed

Leonardo out when Leonardo wasn't

without the mentor panelists and that's

when Leonardo because of the patronage

and financial support of Giuliano finds

the time to create this new meditation

if you will the newer version so your

explanation would be well here we are

two different explanations but then

that's not so weird if you think there

are two different pictures exactly

jean-pierre firmly believes this could

be Leonardo's first Mona Lisa done for

husband Francesco but if so why would it

be unfinished well we know Leonardo was

slow and Francesco was impatient so

perhaps he just snatched it away from

Leonardo once his beloved Lisa's face

was complete a barrage of scientific

tests have been carried out on this

tantalizing picture the canvas was

carbon dated to around the right period

multiple tiny paint samples are

consistent with the paints Leonardo used

x-ray infrared and ultraviolet scans

have found nothing to disprove it as an

early Mona Lisa but that's the problem

all that conventional tests can do is

rule out a possible Leonardo what about

positive confirmation an eminent

scientist based in San Diego California

has been looking for a solution hello

good to see you and you dr. John Asmus

is a well respected nuclear physicist

and a pioneer in the analysis of

historic paintings

he's one of very few who've been allowed

to examine the Louvre Mona Lisa and

that's why the owners of the eyes'll

Worth Mona Lisa tracked him down

I started receiving phone calls from a

series of attorneys in Switzerland and

they wanted me to look at a painting and

finally they found that I was going to

be on a train from hell on to Geneva and

they asked me to get off the train in

Lausanne and take a look at their

painting and so they met me at the train

station and they pop tea on it of an

automobile and there was a Mona Lisa in

in the trunk and in the end the attorney

asked me do you think this model Lisa

was painted by Leonardo my exact words

were how would I know so I got out my

Instamatic camera and took a photograph

of the painting in the truck and it was

that image that I can then compared with

the loo on Lisa a few years ago dr.

Asmus developed a new test to

authenticate paintings by Rembrandt it

compares the subtle distribution of

light and shadow measured as histograms

to isolate an artist's unique way of

painting the artists every artist has

certain effects that he's trying to

accomplish and we use Rembrandt as a

test case and the results were rather

encouraging we came up with some general

rules as to how Rembrandt did his

blending and his selection of pigments

so I tried that that same technique on

the eyes of worth Mona Lisa had paid

comparing it with the movement Lisa and

I was I was stunned the correlation

between those two histograms was 99

percent stronger than it was between any

histograms of any of the Rembrandt's

self-portraits that we looked at how how

am I

this demonstrates that the technique for

blending light and shade in each face

appears uncannily similar John plans to

build a much bigger database of Leonardo

works with which to compare them his

results are impressive but there's

something still troubling me I would

love to believe that that softly

emerging face coming out of darkness

really is young one ELISA I'd love to

believe that but at the moment for me

it's that too good to be true syndrome

it's a little bit too good it's a

troubling when I look at that chart that

they've done of where they've taken the

paint samples from they've taken the

paint samples from everywhere except

that beguiling face which is the most

compelling part of the whole picture

it's the part that makes you think yes

this could be the young Mona Lisa I'm

just wondering whether it's possible

that some very skillful careful restorer

sometime before John asthma saw it in

the boost back car didn't just bring

that face up didn't just make whatever

ghost or trace or possibly a Mona Lisa

copy into something so much more

compelling to the modern eye to me not

to test that is it's like a detective

and his team coming to investigate the

scene of a crime the scene of a murder

and fingerprinting every square inch of

it but forgetting to take fingerprints

from the knife on the bed covered with


I could be wrong

maybe Leonardo did paint this face in

1503 while Lisa sat in front of him but

until the face is tested doubt remains

and to me she just looks a bit too 20th


but I'm still convinced that Leonardo

did paint to Mona Lisa's if the eyes'll

worth painting isn't the earlier version

then it's either lost or still out there

somewhere and believe it or not now

there's a new lead the reported

discovery of another Mona Lisa in st.

Petersburg Russia


this really is a plunge into the unknown

all we've been told is that a wealthy

Russian art collector identity a secret

recently acquired a painting that might

be the missing link to the mystery we

haven't yet been told where it is and

then at the last minute we're given an

address a place with a dubious past


certainly strange this building was

created in the 19th century this room is

a recreation of an old Russian hunting

lodge it survives because the KGB made

it their headquarters during the

Communist years there she is

so what is this what is this all I know

about this picture is that it was

purchased by a Russian art collector

from a very old and established American

family who'd had it since the end of the

18th century and has hardly been seen

since and what's the status of this

picture smaller columns are more

complete than they are in the version in

the Louvre you can see they've got me

going I'm saying the version in the

Louvre the version in the Louvre the

Mona Lisa in the Louvre she's enigmatic

she's removed she's distant is she a

copy not sure

this picture looks tantalizingly close

to the picture in the Louvre so many

details are the same but is this

Leonardo's lost earlier version as with

the eyes'll worth picture scientific

tests have been done by dr. Chiara

metochi of the University of Bologna is

flown to Russia to share her results no

cigar diamo Sarala shainsa Adira a posse


party a dollar a support this is a

radiocarbon testing of the canvas which

says a ninety five point four percent

probability that the canvas is between

fourteen ninety and sixteen seventy so

the canvas could well be correct

okay you know tacky new da chococheese

Vella meal possible improbable período

Nona tanto la te llama la lost righto

preparatory Oh del del dipinto Aldous

Oprah de la tigra VL a presence on the


dianna preparation Rosa Rosa Rosa that's

the ground

well that's very clear tape it as far as

I understand it Leonardo da Vinci

himself worked on a classic Italian

Renaissance ground of white is that

right no Betsy the presence of a red

ground the very first layer of paint

seems to discount Leonardo's hand but

it's Clara's next discovery that really

changes the picture a chemical not used

before 1600 lnter Asante in a very

minuto de la preparación a la soupe a

totally inclusive is olfactory barrio

cheapo Irizarry ad un período molto

ristretto el período trap a millisecond

- venti

amid Seicento Oh

Lucilla's Eau de la barra Tina encuesta

preparation ii-era molto commune in

francesc questa è una trove physical

únicos aqui mica C in el área para Jeana

el período cabbie amo Equis abbiamo par

la tato Mercanti eye pigment e Aviva

Mesa punto una una un producto propio

specifically prepare a Sione in qui

boniva ajunta upon to bury Tina I think

Harrah's our own research we need to

know so the barium allows us to place

this canvas very precisely 60 and 20 to

60 and 80 and probably in Paris so all

the painters round Paris got this ground

from this one guy and put it on their

canvas so more and more that I talked to

you I feel no parla Italiano a opens ok

devil polonium franchisee allah-allah

Donna quad juicy juicy on Chantelle's

tack on a sauce Mona Lisa actuator 8 to

a solid for Caesar

so this Mona Lisa isn't a Leonardo but a

mid 17th century French copy in fact

there are dozens of copies it's a real

problem if you believe as I think you

have to given the conflicting evidence

that Leonardo did paint to Mona Lisa's

what we're looking for them is

Leonardo's image of young Lisa as

described by Vasari

as sketched by Raphael which must

predate the famous picture in the Louvre

so where can it be I still believe that

I can get to the bottom of the mystery

because there's one very strong lead

I haven't yet followed up one more

destination Paris



a scientist turned art detective claims

he can finally explain the discrepancies

he believes the secrets of the mona lisa

line not in other versions of the

portrait but inside the mona lisa itself

and he reckons he can prove it

Pascal Cotte is one of the world's

leading experts in the analysis of

paintings he's a man in Leonardo's own

image a self-taught physicist the

brilliant inventor of a new technique

that's unlocked the secrets of paintings

by Rubens Rembrandt Picasso and many

others his work on another Leonardo

painting the lady with an ermine

revealed earlier versions of the

composition hidden beneath its surface

that rewrote art history

but his great obsession is the Mona Lisa

faithfully reproduced here in his studio

in 2004 Pascal was invited by the Louvre

to scan the painting his task simply to

identify the pictures original colors

hidden beneath the discolorations of

time but Pascal's technique also

revealed that there was far more going

on beneath the surface for the last

decade he's worked in secret decoding

those discoveries and now he's ready to

share them so our goal is to build like

an onion all the layer of paint to

reconstruct the chronology of the

construction of the painting so as to

say this is a new technique absolutely


Pascal's secret weapon is his

groundbreaking multispectral camera an

invention truly worthy of Leonardo 13

different wavelengths of color are

projected onto the picture each

penetrating the paint surface to a

different depth the camera captures the

reflections generating over three

billion bits of data and thousands of

images by analyzing each image shown in

black and white

Pascal can reveal a painting secrets

layer by layer

his first discovery in the Mona Lisa is

buried deep within the painting what we

discover we discover that the head was

bigger so you use your shadow yes also

be your head hmm you can see also that

the nose he's double here well so once

she had a larger head I discovered the

Sun much more bigger Pascal has pieced

together several previously unknown

details that lie beneath the Louvre

portrait as we know it marked in red

they seemed to be elements of a larger

first portrait that never got beyond a

draft stage but that's just the

beginning of Pascal's discoveries so now

we continue with one who's earlier yeah

yeah what on earth is that what is it

this is a hairpin like this one so you

found something that you found it with

that little bit of your magic light

camera you found the missing hairpin now

you know there is a hairpin you can see

it huh because you know but yes know

exactly how fascinating and more than

that if you look around ahead you

discover twelve happens the happens with

pearls make no sense on the first large


but Pascal has found something else that

appears to be connected to them tiny

rows of dots known as spur very they

seem to suggest an elaborate headdress

intriguingly a type of headdress that as

far as we know was only ever shown on

the heads of saints or Madonna's this is

a painting of her headdress that have

nothing to do with matanza nothing to do

nothing to do with the spoiler very

hidden inside the Mona Lisa have never

been seen before that concrete proof of

the way Leonardo constructed a picture

he would have begun with a preparatory

drawing marked the lines on tracing

paper with a sharp point then

transferred those outlines onto the wood

with coal dust but what happened to the

headdress Pascal's next piece of

evidence suggests it was deliberately

removed so now I discover this Hachi

this is another yeah of the onion so

this is layer with this rubber yes you

see it's totally different from the

cracks so crackle ooh you see this is

clearly to erase what is beyond it's

very important because that explains how

Luna dough from one stage go to another


Pascal's scans a crucial evidence of the

way Leonardo worked building up a

painting stage-by-stage above the

scratchings Pascal reveals the first

impression of yet another layer the

ghostly imprint of a face like a

Leonardo Turin Shroud is that another

head yes how many heads is that so far

and this is no number free so the big

heads they became tubs all has her hand

remembers another head yes

now so high so it's a wonderful proof I

discovered two crosses just here and

these classes do not match with mine an

exact glance no no the crosses clearly

mark a different set of pupils looking

in a different direction

the face behind when ELISA the face is

turn 14 degrees in the right direction

so there she is

looking like that so she should be like

that yeah more like that

also I brought good as a serious because

this is an important point because

Vasari says specifically you know that

the eyebrows abusive he painted yes nice

for us we see her doesn't have eyebrows

so have you felt can see it yeah so

there are the eyebrows and here you have

another mouse look at this mouth nothing

to do with Mona Lisa absolutely amazing

she's barely smiling

do you see because she turns the head on

the left the mouse is little smaller

quite a lot smaller so Pascal you've

found a complete face

yes inside inside the Mona Lisa yes wow

that's quite a big discoveries it yes it

is yes yes it is

Pascal's work has revealed for the first

time in 500 years a detailed earlier

portrait by Leonardo da Vinci it's the

same size as the face we see now but

turned by 14 degrees there's clear

evidence of a different swept back

hairstyle elaborate ties at the top of

an earlier sleeve are clearly visible

there's even a suggestion that she once

held a blanket in her mouth

is this the cultures of Lisa I've been

looking for

so throughout my journey I thought well

it seems it seems as though they're

talking about two different pictures you

seem to be saying to me yes there are

too many losses but they happen to be on

the same piece of wood yes so this must

surely be Lisa del Giocondo of course

Francesca's wife I agree with you it's

this is a real portrait of mrs. Iza



Pascal's pioneering work marks an

extraordinary moment in the history of

art by piecing together all the details

then decoding the data to identify the

original pigments used by Leonardo

Pascal has been able to construct a

digital photo fit of the image it's a

perfect match with the historical record

but if this computer image represents

the original portrait of Mona Lisa it's

a portrait her husband never received

instead Leonardo went on to paint the

world's most famous picture over the top


so there were two Mona Lisa's all along

but how do we make sense of these

discoveries and what are we now to make

of Leonardo's masterpiece

in search of the final piece to the

puzzle our meeting a woman who spent

years reconstructing the scene of that

day back in 1503 when Leonardo started

to paint Lisa


leading expert on Renaissance hairstyles

and costumes

Elisabetta nini era has based her work

closely on Pascal's findings every

Renaissance fashion can be precisely

pinpointed whether to Rome in 1512 or

Florence in 1503 so by recreating the


Pascal found in the painting beneath the

painting Elisabetta can place and dated

very precisely her results are a


looking as the fashions shown it is

other contemporary portraits is that it

perfectly fits with the historical image

of a wealthy Florentine lady of the very

early years of 16th century I cannot see

any inconsistencies so this must be Lisa

del Giocondo

as Raphael painted her yes this is very

close the closes version we know to the

rough and sketch it's like a Polaroid

it's like a Polaroid yeah Raphael have

actually seen Leonardo's portrait of

Lisa when he drew this copy in 1504

apart from one slight difference the

veil over the bodice it's identical to

elisabetta's reconstruction and Pascal's

photo fit it's compelling evidence that

Pascal has indeed found the first

version Leonardo's original Lisa lurking

beneath the finished work but where does

all this leave the picture we see today

so there's a better when you look at the

Mona Lisa in the Louvre as she is now

from the point of view of costume what

do you see to me she's not a real person

because there are so many details of

which ago innocence hmm can you give me

an example yes the long hair worn on her


this wouldn't be conceivable unless you

had the very high ranks or it was a

posthumous portrait what about this

source of sash of drapery that comes

over the twist yeah this is the most

interesting element in Louvre of

Gioconda because a Greek arobin's

classical art devoted such a detail only

on one shoulder only to Venus Venus and

virtuous like purity chastity faith so

that that beautiful

of drapery that seems to continue the

flow of the river in the landscape

behind that is not same thing that a

real woman would've wore it's more like

an attribute of a goddess yes

so the Louvre painting shows an

idealized woman maybe a posthumous

portrait surely then she can no longer

be Mona Lisa

because Mona Lisa outlived Leonardo Wow

now for Elisabetta the moment of truth

as the results of years of research and

hard work finally come together we can

at last see how Lisa del Giocondo the

original Mona Lisa might have looked


so Elisabetta you have made the sleeves


Pascale found and this is the line

you've recreated the it's been an

elaborate process but it leads to a

genuine insight into Leonardo's

obsessive relationship with this

painting the key is in the colours which

have been exactly matched to Pascal's

calculations the dress for the bodies he

found a greenish gray pigment and also

this leaves

we know how Lonardo would call this

color which was called Leonato that is

the colors of the Lions for Leonardo

calendar I never knew I never knew that

but you know what it makes me think it

makes me think when you say that that

this is this is Leonardo because of

course it didn't sign pictures but this

is Leonardo's way of signing the

painting exactly that's great the color

Leon out or and the knot pattern Vince

sherry yeah

Leonardo da Vinci yeah it could be now

we're not joking I I agree with you

totally yeah exactly


fourme the presence of a hidden

signature would answer a nagging

question why didn't he finish his first

version and give it to Francesca

knotting his name into her bodice it's

like an act of possession as if Leonardo

knew this was always destined to be more

than a portrait

no one's painting but his own if we go

one two three quality code Trey you look

at me the way

our investigation has revealed for the

first time what Leonardo's hidden

earlier portrait might have looked like

the portrait surely of the Florentine

merchants wife Lisa del Giocondo we

found a solution to the historic

inconsistencies that have long baffled

experts and it seems we've discovered

that the portrait in the Louvre may not

be the Mona Lisa after all so we're left

with the million-dollar question who is


the one piece of evidence that still

stands out is the eyewitness account of

debate artists who had it from Leonardo

himself that the woman we now see was

painted at the behest of Giuliano de


so who replaced Mona Lisa in Leonardo's

painting did Giuliano commissioned a

posthumous portrait perhaps of a lost

love idealized like a goddess for me

there's only one candidate a woman with

whom Giuliano had a brief passionate


a woman who tragically died giving birth

to their son a little boy who was still

calling for her when Giuliano

commissioned the picture

her name was Pacifica Brandon Oh

could this be her


it's a romantic notion but just as

Leonardo never gave the picture to

Francesca he never gave it to Giuliano

either instead he kept the image of the

woman he'd signed in code and made her

more his own than ever at the end of

Leonardo's life the Mona Lisa this

shape-shifting picture that had begun as

the portrait of one woman and then

metamorphosed into another became

something else again namely a work about

the transcended portraiture and turned

into an expression of all his knowledge

all his philosophy the paintings like a

shimmering mosaic in which Leonardo has

pieced together all that he knows about

nature and about human nature and I

think the key to it is that famous smile

Leonardo's way of saying that while we

might strive to understand this vast

cosmos that surrounds us in the end it's

our destiny to pass through life as

swiftly as the smile that flickers

across a human face so the Mona Lisa

really isn't Mona Lisa after all but

something much more than that it's a

painting of life itself as Leonardo had

come to think of it his way of painting

us all



coming up on bbc2 Ruth Jones and Romesh

Ranganathan joined Jack Dee for the

apprentice you're fired