Scientist Discovers Hidden Portrait Beneath The Mona Lisa

For centuries, human beings from all walks of life have spent countless hours wondering what lies behind Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile. Is it superiority? Cunning? Boredom? Finally, after 500 years of wondering, French scientist Pascal Cotte thinks he knows what Mona Lisa has been hiding.

Spoiler: it’s another smile.

In 2004, the Louvre granted Cotte access to Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” also known as The Mona Lisa, where he studied her tirelessly for over 10 years. He employed a technique called Layer Amplification Method (LAM) to analyze the historic work. More specifically, Cotte projected “a series of intense lights” onto the work, as he explained to the BBC, later using a camera to measure the lights’ reflections and thus piece together what exists between the layers of paint.

We can now analyze exactly what is happening inside the layers of the paint and we can peel like an onion all the layers of the painting,” Cotte explained to the BBC. “We can reconstruct all the chronology of the creation of the painting.”

What Cotte found lying dormant beneath the famed portrait is — drumroll, please — another portrait! This hidden sitter looks off to the side, instead of straight ahead with that signature Mona Lisa penetrating gaze. And no, she doesn’t boast that same cryptic grin. Cotte believes the woman in the hidden painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of the Florentine silk merchant who is widely believed to have been the muse that inspired Mona Lisa.

According to Cotte’s findings, the hidden painting depicts Gherardini, while the Mona Lisa we know today represents someone else entirely. “When I finished the reconstruction of Lisa Gherardini, I was in front of the portrait and she is —> Read More