Friday, September 8, 2017

Who Was Mona Lisa?

There have been many theories as to the identity of Mona Lisa, the portrait painted by Leonardo Davinci. Some think it is a feminized self portrait. Some say it's DaVinci's lover.

I found an article in The Artist's Magazine that makes a very good case for the identity of LaGioconda. The article is called Who's That Girl? written by Katherine Mesch, in the June 2005 issue of the magazine. I read this many years ago and thought it was very interesting. I recently rediscovered the article and thought I would share it.

In this article, the author explains that "after 17 years of research, historian Maike Vogt-Luerssen ...claims that the Mona Lisa is really Isabella of Aragon, the former duchess of Milan." The paintings themselves give clues, as well as documents from that period in history,

She goes on to explain: "The woman is wearing heavy mournful garments (Isabella's mother died a year prior to the painting of the portrait--she would have still been in mourning). Visible on the bodice of the dress are the connected rings of the house of Sforza as well as knots and strings representing the connection between the dynasties of Visconti and Sforza (all the symbols of the family that Isabella had married into). ....The symbols place Mona Lisa in a category of only eight women of the time....Leonardo was a painter at Isabella's court for 11 years, and the two remained friends...for most of her life."

This is the portrait of Isabella of Aragon, painted by Bernardino Luini:
And this is the Mona Lisa, by Leonardo DaVinci:
Even from a viewpoint where one doesn't notice the symbolism in the clothing, or know the time periods or history, even, just look at the similarity in the faces, the hairline, the nose, mouth and chin, and even their hands have a similar look.

I think it makes a very convincing argument as to her identity, and a reasonable one, at that. What do you think?

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