The story appears on

Page A13

April 11, 2016

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Events and TV

Xintiandi to host ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’

THE “Mona Lisa” is coming to Shanghai.

No, not the “Mona Lisa” that hangs in the Louvre, but an earlier portrait thought to be of the same woman whose enigmatic smile has entranced viewers for centuries.

This “Earlier Mona Lisa,” also known as the “Isleworth Mona Lisa,” will be on view at Xintiandi starting April 28. The painting is believed to depict Lisa del Giocondo (1479-1542) roughly a decade before da Vinci captured her in his iconic masterpiece.

Entitled “A Voyage of Discovery of the ‘Earlier Mona Lisa’,” the exhibition will also delve into the research and analysis that has gone into uncovering the painting’s origins.

“The woman behind that famous smile... was the wife of an influential Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo,” explained Joel Feldman, the general secretary of the Mona Lisa Foundation, a Switzerland-based group that helped organize the exhibition. “She could not possibly have known that her portrait would become the most recognizable face in history.”

According to Feldman, it is believed that the “Earlier Mona Lisa” was painted between 1503 to 1506. The work is said to have ended up with da Vinci’s assistant after his death.

In 2008, the painting was passed on to an international consortium. That same year, the Mona Lisa Foundation was established with a mandate to conduct all necessary research to determine its authenticity. This involved scientific tests using X-rays, ultraviolet light and infrared technology.

“Twenty-eight out of 29 experts believe this is either possibly or certainly a painting created by da Vinci,” Feldman added.

Due to the painting’s priceless value and place in art history, the “Earlier Mona Lisa” will be displayed behind bulletproof glass, in a humidity-controlled, GPS-locating case. Despite such precautions though, visitors will be able to get up close with the painting.

“This exhibition is not about one single painting, but is an introduction of the Italian Renaissance and da Vinci,” Feldman said.


Date: April 28-August 28,

Tickets: 120 yuan (Monday-Friday), 140 yuan (Saturday-Sunday) (more info on

Venue: The House, Xintiandi Area


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend