MONA Lisa's smile has enthralled visitors to the Louvre for generations, but yesterday the focus shifted to Geneva, where a Swiss foundation unveiled what it said was an earlier version of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece.
The work, known as the ' Isleworth Mona Lisa', was publicly exhibited by the Mona Lisa Foundation, which claims that 35 years of research and tests have led experts to conclude that it predates the Louvre painting by 11 to 12 years.
Stanley Feldman, an art historian whose book 'Mona Lisa: Leonardo's Earlier Version' was published yesterday, insisted that all the evidence suggests it is the first Mona Lisa.
"We have investigated this painting from every angle and all the information points to it being an earlier version of 'La Gioconda'," he said. (© Independent News Service)