People: Dec. 29, 1986

Her exact identity is one of the great mysteries in the history of art. Now almost 500 years after Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, Computer Artist Lillian Schwartz, a consultant at AT&T Bell Laboratories, has set off minor tremors in the art world by asserting that the model for Da Vinci's masterpiece was Leonardo himself. In the January issue of Art & Antiques, Schwartz explains that she used a new computer-model program to juxtapose the famous painting with Leonardo's only known self-portrait. Writes Schwartz: "The relative locations of the nose, mouth, chin, eyes and forehead in one precisely matched...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!