TECH

Engineer Finds 'Hidden Portrait' Under Mona Lisa

08/12/2015 10:48 GMT | Updated 08/12/2015 10:59 GMT

Mona Lisa has taken her place in the spotlight once again and this time she may have company.

An engineer believes he has found another image underlying Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting.

Pascal Cotte, who has spent over 10 years analysing the work of art, used reflective light technology and believes there is a picture of another woman hidden behind the primary layer.

mona lisa

Using a technique dubbed Layer Amplification Method (LAM), he analysed the various layers of paint on the original image.

Typically, the process involves shining intense light onto the painting and any reflection of light bouncing off the surface is recorded by a camera.

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This provides the team with with thousands of pictures of each small square, allowing them to understand what is happening at each layer of the painting.

Cotte told the BBC: "We can now analyse exactly what is happening inside the layers of the paint and we can peel like an onion all the layers of the painting.

"We can reconstruct all the chronology of the creation of the painting."

While the Louvre Museum is yet to comment on Cotte's findings, the scientist firmly believes his discovery sheds new light on the ongoing discussion over who Mona Lisa is.

The engineer believe his newfound portrait shows a completely different woman who he believes is the real Lisa, while other experts argue the primary image is the real deal.

Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford, told the BBC: "I do not think there are these discreet stages which represent different portraits. I see it as more or less a continuous process of evolution.

I am absolutely convinced that the Mona Lisa is Lisa. "