For years, her gaze has skimmed the tops of heads as hordes of tourists flock to see Leonardo da Vinci’s pièce de résistance. But amongst all the admiring stares and camera flashes lurks the uncertainty as to who it is that they have travelled so far to see. Whose vague smile and distant eyes provided da Vinci with the muse to create a piece of artwork so highly valued and critically acclaimed. Perhaps it is the mystery and the unknown that intensifies the allure of the painting, and which draws both experts and tourists alike to try and catch a glimpse of this mystery woman.
But who is the Mona Lisa?
For years, theories have been bandied about with regards to the identity of this woman, with some going as far as Da Vinci painting himself in drag. Whilst the sitter is still not one hundred percent confirmed, it is widely accepted that the person behind the paint was a woman named Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a slave trader in Florence. She was married off at the age of fifteen to Francesco del Giocondo, and his involvement in the slave trade allowed her to lead a life of luxury as a member of one of the more well-known families in Florence. Their time in Florence was not without scandal, most notably being tainted when two members of the wealthy Medici family made attempts to proposition Gherardini in order to discredit the family.
ARTE E CULTURA
ARTE E CULTURA
amongst all the admiring stares and camera flashes lurks the uncertainty as to who it is they have travelled so far to see...