Blacked out Backgrounds?













The first painting is a version of the Mona Lisa that was painted along the Louvre version, probably by Salai. They thought it was just a copy until they cleaned it and realized there was a entire painted background under the black varnish. After they studied the newly revealed background they figured out that it would have had to been painted at the same time as the real Mona Lisa and not just a copy because it had the same corrections found in the Louvre Version. They couldn't have the same undercoats unless they were painted at the same time. It's called the Prado Mona Lisa - you can read more about it -> Prado Mona Who You Be? 
  • It's strange but in the lower left hand corner there is the # 666 in red? It is evident on the pre-cleaned version and after the cleaning. 


The next painting is "Lady with an Ermine" by Leonardo. I was working on digitally restoring it when I noticed a pattern to the black background that reminded me of the other black backgrounds Leo used in his portraits - or did he? Who covered up the background of the Prado Version of the Mona Lisa originally? I ran the same photo-filter on the pre-cleaned version of the Prado and the Lady with an Ermine and the same kinds of patterns were formed. You can see horizontal lines in the blacked out background. You can see them even without any filters if you zoom in. 

I think that the Lady with an Ermine has an entire background behind the black paint as well. It could have just been that Leonardo painted one and then decided to cover it and go with a black back ground - or someone else did after he had died. 

Gif showing a time lapse of my digital restoration. I've been staring at the painting for hours so that helped me notice the patterns. 

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