9 Februarie 2017 Lasă un comentariu
What is the Mona Lisa’s secret? She smiles so enigmatically under the all-but-invisible transparent silk veil that covers her hair, turning her brown eyes as if she has just seen someone come into her field of vision. The fascination and fame of this portrait, begun by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503, has always related to the elusive personality it communicates. Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century claimed Leonardo employed musicians and jesters to make Lisa smile. Walter Pater in the Victorian age thought she resembled a “vampire”. Modern viewers sometimes see her face as androgynous, an observation first made by Marcel Duchamp.
I have a new theory. Perhaps the Mona Lisa had syphilis.
This painting may seem like a dream image, an unreal vision, but it is a portrait of someone real. Lisa Gherardini was the wife of a Florentine merchant called Francesco del Giocondo. Contemporary sources, including a note made in 1503 by an employee in the Florentine government at the Palazzo Vecchio, put it beyond reasonable doubt that she was Leonardo’s model (and not, as art historians used to claim, someone posher).