The Isleworth Mona Lisa is a painting of the same subject as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The painting is claimed by some to be partly an original work of Leonardo dating from the early 16th century.
Shortly before World War I, English art collector Hugh Blaker discovered the painting in the home of a Somerset nobleman in whose family it had been for nearly 100 years. This discovery led to the conjecture that Leonardo painted two portraits of Lisa del Giocondo: the famous one in The Louvre and the one discovered by Blaker, who bought the painting and took it to his studio in Isleworth, London, from which it takes its name.
According to Leonardo’s early biographer Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo had started to paint Mona Lisa in 1503, but “left it unfinished”. However, a fully finished painting of a “certain Florentine lady” surfaced again in 1517, shortly before Leonardo’s death and in his private possession. The latter painting almost certainly is the one that now hangs in the Louvre. Based on this contradiction, supporters of the authenticity of the Isleworth Mona Lisa claim it is the unfinished Mona Lisa, made at least partially by Leonardo, and the Louvre Mona Lisa a later version of it, made by Leonardo for his own use.
The figure of the Isleworth Mona Lisa closely resembles that of the Mona Lisa, being identically composed and lit. However, the face of the Isleworth Mona Lisa appears younger, leading to speculation that it is an earlier version by the artist. According to Pulitzer, multiple art experts agreed that the neck of the Isleworth Mona Lisa is inferior to the necks of other Leonardo subjects. Furthermore, the background in the Isleworth painting is considerably less detailed than the background in the Louvre painting. For these reasons, several people Pulitzer consulted believed that the hands and face of the portrait were done by Leonardo, but the rest may have been finished by another or others.