London, Jun 16: After being hidden for almost a century within the panelled walls of a library, a naked portrayal of the Mona Lisa will form one of the centrepieces of a new exhibition at the Museo Ideale in the Tuscan town of Vinci, near Florence.
The mystifying portrait of a semi-nude woman, looking straight at the viewer with a smile and her hands crossed, bears a stark resemblance to Mona Lisa, which was once attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
The picture, which hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris and was painted by the Italian master in the early 1500s, will form one of the highlights of the biggest exhibition ever held on Leonardo, the Renaissance genius.
"The frontal look, the position of the hands, the spatial conception of the landscape, with columns at the sides, show a clear link with the Mona Lisa's iconographic theme," The Telegraph quoted Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the museum, as telling Discovery News.
The naked portrait once belonged to Napoleon's ambassador to the Vatican, Cardinal Joseph Fesch.