Chantilly's Nude Mona Lisa goes to lab to see if it is really by Leonardo da Vinci


The so-called Nude Mona Lisa from the Musée Condé in Chantilly goes to the laboratory: they want to find out if it is the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

The so-called “Naked Mona Lisa” is back in the news. The enigmatic charcoal drawing kept at theMusée Condé in the French Chteau du Chantilly has been transferred to the laboratories of the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, at the Louvre museum: scholars, from the new analysis, are in fact looking for confirmation of the question that everyone has at least once asked around the work, namely whether it is really a work by Leonardo da Vinci. The newspaper Le Figaro, which broke the news exclusively, says that the “move” to the Paris museum took place about a month ago.

According to Louvre researchers, this “unvetted” Mona Lisa, also known as Mona Vanna and depicted on a 72-by-54-cm double pasted sheet, may have been made in part by Leonardo or, at least, by his workshop. Initial analyses, those performed with carbon 14, gave the “Naked Mona Lisa” datable between 1485 and 1638, so efforts are under way to determine whether this work was made before or after the more famous Mona Lisa preserved in the Louvre (in the Musée Condé’s catalog of drawings, published in 1995, the drawing was dated to between 1514 and 1516, and it still appears on the museum’s website with that date). The Chantilly drawing is therefore awaited for reflectographs, infrared analysis, x-rays, and X-ray fluorescence for further information.

The drawing belongs to the collection donated in 1897 by Henri d’Orléans, Duc d’Aumale, and, to date, has never left the Musée Condé. It is traditionally attributed to the workshop of Leonardo da Vinci, without further specification.

Pictured: workshop of Leonardo da Vinci, The Nude Mona Lisa also known as Mona Vanna (1514-1516; black charcoal drawing and white pigments on dark paper, 72.4 x 54 cm; Chantilly, Musée Condé)

Chantilly's Nude Mona Lisa goes to lab to see if it is really by Leonardo da Vinci
Chantilly's Nude Mona Lisa goes to lab to see if it is really by Leonardo da Vinci