Archives for posts with tag: Renaissance

We may finally know what the real Mona Lisa looked like.  The Prado Museum in Madrid recently cleaned and restored one of its more obscure and seemingly unimportant paintings, a copy of Leonardo DaVinci’s ‘Mona Lisa.’  In the museum’s possession since 1819, the copy was thought to have been completed after DaVinci’s death.  During the extensive process, however, museum officials discovered that the painting was done by a pupil working alongside the master: x-rays revealed that the copy evolved and developed just as the original did.  Experts were able to strip away the dark, cracked varnish and a black over paint, revealing a young woman with beautiful skin in front of a colorful Tuscan landscape.  Her eyebrows are visible, her lips are rosy, and she looks years younger than her more famous counterpart.  DaVinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ my hide similar charms under her own aged and discolored varnish.

A copy painted alongside DaVinci's 'Mona Lisa.'

To learn more about the painting, visit the Museo Nacional Prado websiteThe Art Newspaper also covered the story.  Click here to see the painting before restoration.

-Jayme Catalano

When I first encountered ‘Pope Innocent X’ at the Doria Pamphili Gallery in Rome, I was struck by one over-whelming and unshakeable impression:  that man looks exactly like Gene Hackman.  The resemblance is uncanny.  Maybe we’re all walking around with recycled faces, our own doppelgangers lost in obscurity.  One thing is for certain:  Gene Hackman’s own double lived more than three hundred years ago, he schemed and plotted to obtain ultimate power, and he is forever immortalized in Diego Velazquez’ masterpiece of intensity and psyche.

From left to right, actor Gene Hackman and detail from 'Pope Innocent X' by Diego Velazquez.

To see the full painting, visit this website.

-Jayme Catalano