The Nude Mona Lisa’s origin story is as enigmatic as her clothed sister’s smile. Sold as a Leonardo in 1862, she has been the subject of debate ever since. New research indicates the drawing is from the master’s workshop and, as the lead researcher said, “could very well be a work by Leonardo.” Another revelation: the sitter is not the woman known as the Mona Lisa, but an idealized beauty. For the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, the Chantilly presents the sketch alongside the latest scientific findings, plus other paintings inspired by this archetypal female. —C.J.F.
Other events commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death: “Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius,” Denver Museum of Nature and Science (March 1–August 25, 2019); “Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing,” The Queen’s Gallery, London (May 24–October 13, 2019); “Leonardo da Vinci’s St. Jerome,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (July 15–October 6, 2019); “Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence,” National Gallery of Art, Washington (September 15, 2019–January 12, 2020); “The 14th European Renaissance Music Festival,” Clos Lucé, Amboise (September 27–29, 2019); “Leonardo da Vinci,” Musée du Louvre, Paris (October 24, 2019–February 24, 2020); and “Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing,” The Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh (November 22, 2019–March 15, 2020).