Mona Lisa and Prado Version side by side and left and right 3d images

Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in 3D

In 2012, beneath the black paint of a lesser painting, researchers at the Prado discovered a stunning new version of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Prado version of the Mona Lisa was attributed not to Leonardo but one of his apprentices making a poor copy of the master work.

But by simply placing the Two versions of the Mona Lisas together, art historians Carbon and Hesslinger a mystery deeper than the Da vinci code.

Mona Lisa and Prado Version side by side and left and right 3d images

The Original hangs in the Louvre, the new Giaconda in the Prado but when placed side by side a solid sculptural version of the painting appears.

Look at each painting with a different eye and relax your eyes until a third solid image appears and check for yourself – it is a very convincing illusion and a stunning solid image of the Mona Lisa herself – the background even moves as the head is moved.

If it does not immediately leap out of the screen then try improvising a quick stereoscope by placing a piece of card between the images from the screen to your nose so each eye can only see 1 image.

Carbon and Hesslinger have published a highly convincing analysis that demonstrates the math behind the idea is sound.


But as soon as you see it you know instantly that Leonardo was painting in three dimensions on two canvases. This video by Hessinger demonstrates the transition

Mona Lisa Louvre Prado Animated Transition

Hessinger’s publication page at Research Gate has the full paper with many comparison images.