Project: The Mona Project

Andy Schoneberg, a two-time Emmy Award winner and multi-talented makeup artist in Hollywood, commissioned us to carve an exact copy of the Mona Lisa frame. He created an exact replica of the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting and shared the experience on his blog, The Mona Project.

He provided us detailed photos and profiles of the original frame. Our replica took more than 200 carving hours to complete, but the client was very happy:

“I wanted to take on Mona because Leonardo’s technique is such a mystery. Art historians and technicians have theorized for years about Leonardo’s possible technique. I thought I’d approach the mystery as an artist, using all available research and studying Leonardo’s unfinished paintings to take a stab at it.

My recreation is on a poplar panel. prepared with traditional gesso, applied according to Ceninno Ceninni’s formulae. The paints I used were all pigment hand ground in walnut oil. I did a monochromatic underpainting first, and followed that with layer after layer of transparent glazing.

The painting took approximately three years to complete.While I was doing the replica, I decided that the ONLY correct way to approach the frame was to make it as close to the real frame as possible. The end result is a beautifully hand carved frame that was finished with gold leaf and aged. Thanks again for the incredible frame!”