Research 9

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Comparison of Leonardo da Vinci's works "Mother's portrait" and "Mona Lisa"

Research № 9. Comparison of Leonardo da Vinci's works "Mother's portrait №1" and "Mona Lisa". Women with the same position of the body (left semi-profile), a smiling facial expression and with visually noticeable age difference are represented in the paintings.




Leonardo_da_ Vinci_Mother's_portrait _№1_Magdalena Leonardo_da_Vinci_Portrait_the_image_of_the_mother_Mona Lisa

   To carry out the research the images were brought to the same size with a 19 mm distance between the pupils. In "Mother' portrait № 1" the face is slightly tilted forward.

   A comparative research of appearance of the people represented in the given images with account for the angle and the features of the images, was carried out using the method of visual comparisonas well as combining by the medial line.

   Matching signs of appearance with are marked in red:

Portrait of mother №1 "Magdalena" Artist Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci Portrait of his mother image "Mona Lisa"



Mark 1 – height, contour of the chin, 

Mark 2 – mouth size, position of the corners of the lips, line between the upper and lower lips, 

Mark 3 – lips width, contour line of the upper lip,

Mark 4 – contour of the bottom edge of a nose wing, fold of the nose wings,

Mark 5 – nasal arch width, nose tip shape,

Mark 6 – degree of prominence of the under eye bags,

Mark 7 – position of the eyes, size of the eyes, shape of the palpebral fissure, palpebral fissure disclosure, shape of the inner corners of the eyes,

Mark 8 – nose height, width of the nasal bridge, nasal arch shape

Mark 9 – prominence of frontal eminence

Mark 10 – hair color and type, presence of a part the middle of the head.

   Besides, the following coincidences found specifically in the presented images which can prove, on the one hand, representation of the same person and, on the other hand, the use of the same artistic features or the same vision by the author of paintings should be noted:

General position of the body.

Mark 11 - angle of the left shoulder's upward movement which visually increases neck thickness

Mark 12 - angle of a neck-right shoulder junction,

Mark 13 – angle formed by the line of the right shoulder and a dark line reflecting a connection the neck and the chest.

Portrait of mother №1 "Magdalena" Artist Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci Portrait of his mother image "Mona Lisa"

The revealed distinctions in appearance of the presented people:

Portrait of mother №1 "Magdalena" Artist Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci Portrait of his mother image "Mona Lisa"


Mark 14 – facial volume, chin width

Mark 15 – position of the nose wings (average and raised), nostril contour

Mark 16 – volume of the cheeks

Mark 17 – prominence of the overhanging upper lids (there is none and little), in the painting "Mona Lisa" eyelid swelling can be observed.

Mark 18 – absence of eyebrows of the woman in the painting "Mona Lisa"

Mark 19 – forehead height.

   Using the method of combining the right half of the woman's face in "Mother's portrait № 1" with the left half of the woman's face in the painting "Mona Lisa" and vice versa along the mid-sagittal line, it was established that elements of the faces on the border of the combined images are natural continuation of each other. It is visually possible to add a missing element of appearance (an eyebrow, lesser facial volume, absence overhanging upper eyelids) to each image and these images will be perceived as one person. Small deviations in face proportions, namely volume of the cheeks and the chin, extent of the palpebral fissure disclosure can be explained by the age difference between the people in question, and also by a possible illness or a health condition (puffiness), a body volume of the woman represented in the painting "Mona Lisa"


Portrait of mother №1 "Magdalena" Artist Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci Portrait of his mother image "Mona Lisa"

   The results of the conducted research demonstrate that the matching signs of appearance of the women in the painting "Mother's Portrait № 1" and "Mona Lisa" are steady, individual, and  allow to reveal a number of private identification signs of appearance and their features intrinsic to one and the same person in spite of the fact that these images are not a photographic image of a person's appearance, but a subjective vision of the artist. The distinctive signs of appearance are explainable. Thus, it is possible to draw a conclusion that the same person is depicted in the presented paintings.