(CNN) — Leonardo da Vinci painted an earlier version of his famed masterpiece “Mona Lisa,” claims a private Swiss art foundation dedicated solely to the alternate painting, which it unveiled Thursday.
But an expert on da Vinci in Britain says there is evidence that the Renaissance master may not have been behind the picture presented as the “Earlier Mona Lisa” but known more commonly as the “Isleworth Mona Lisa.”
The Mona Lisa Foundation, based in Zurich, offers a wealth of documentation to support its argument that the painting it represents is a predecessor — from the master’s own hand — to the world’s most famous portrait hanging in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Martin Kemp, professor emeritus at Oxford University, who has examined the arguments, says the “reliable primary evidence provides no basis for thinking that there was ‘an earlier’ portrait of Lisa del Giocondo.”
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