7 Unsolved Mysteries of the Mona Lisa

People often say that a picture can mean more than a thousand words. Although this sentence remains valid for many paintings, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting will tell much more than a thousand words that everyone, including art critics and historians, is still trying to understand the painting.

The portrait in the Louvre Museum is the world’s best known, most researched and most visited work. So, which mysteries have come to fruition or been approached in the results of these studies?

Who is the woman depicted in the painting?


The identity of the woman who posed for Leonardo da Vinci still remains a mystery. Many believe the woman posing in the picture is 24-year-old Lisa Maria de Gherardini (also known as Lisa del Giocondo), an Italian noble born in Florence in 1479.

Another opinion about the identity of the woman in the painting is that the person in the painting is Caterina Sforza. Another theory suggests that the young woman in the painting could be Giuliano de’ Medici, ruler of Florence, or Isabella d’Este, the marquis of Mantua (meaning the wife of the Marquis. The Marquess denotes a nobility between the earl and the duke in European countries). The last but equally important guess about the identity of the person in the painting is that the person in the painting may be Leonardo da Vinci himself. The similarity in facial structures also strengthens this theory.

Mona Lisa ‘s smile


Mona Lisa’s mysterious, his intriguing and utterly surprising smile is perhaps one of the most mysterious elements of da Vinci’s oil painting. For 500 years, there have been discussions about whether the woman in the picture is smiling or not. Some are even unable to decide whether the woman in the picture is happy or sad. Margaret Livingstone, a professor at Harvard University, explained that a smile is formed when visitors look into the eyes of the woman in the portrait due to ‘low spatial frequencies’.

Dutch researchers conducted a study in 2005 with the development of ‘Emotion Recognition’ programs technology. As a result of the research, they found that the woman in the picture was 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% scared, and 2% angry.

Despite this research, many visitors stated that the facial expression of the woman in the picture changes depending on the angle you look at the picture. When you look at the picture closely, the picture looks a little shy, but when you look at it from afar, it has a very cheerful mood.

Mysterious codes


Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage, microscopes and what they did in high resolution photographs of the painting As a result of their investigations, they discovered some numbers and the existence of numbers.

Art historian Silvano Vinceti said that he found the letters “LV” in the right eye of Mona Lisa and stated that these are the initials of Leonardo da Vinci. In the left eye, the unclear letter “CE” or “B” can be seen. It is possible to see the number “72” on the arch of the bridge in the background.

Of course, why the artist painted these codes in a way that cannot be seen by the human eye is an extremely intriguing subject.

Mysterious bridge


The magnificent view behind the Mona Lisa is often overlooked because of the glamor of its face. was done. For this reason, you may not have seen the three-arch bridge at the back until now.

Italian historian Carla Glori suggested that the bridge over the woman’s left shoulder was Ponte Gobbo or Ponte Vecchio. The bridge is located in Bobbio, a small village south of Piacenza, in northern Italy.

Glori’s theory follows Vinceti’s findings for the number “72” hidden in the bridge. Glori says the number “72” refers to a devastating flood that took place in 1472.

Disturbing gaze


Although it is somewhat extraordinary that the picture is looking at you wherever you look, on the other hand It’s also a bit of an inconvenience. Wherever you go, the eyes of the woman in the painting continue to look at you. In our three-dimensional world, shadows and lights on surfaces vary from our perspective, but this is not true on two-dimensional surfaces.

This optical phenomenon can be explained by a scientific concept described by Ohio University, which shows that an image can be seen the same regardless of the angle at which it is viewed. Lenoardo da Vinci’s manipulation of light and shadow on the canvas creates an extremely different sense of depth in the painting.

The disturbing look also gets its effect from here.

Painting hidden behind portrait


in Canada in 2006 using infrared and laser imaging on the Mona Lisa. scientists have unearthed da Vinci’s drawings. In these drawings, different hand drawings can be seen from the final version of the painting.

French engineer Pascal Cotte, using a similar method in 2015, measured the amount of reflected light by reflecting light rays of different wavelengths onto the picture. As a result of this research, he discovered the portrait hidden behind the Mona Lisa we see today.

What makes the picture so beautiful?

Throughout history, the portrait of the Mona Lisa has been called a ‘timeless beauty’. It would be too cruel to limit this intriguing beauty of the Mona Lisa to just her looks and beauty.

The golden ratio is derived from the length-width dimension relationships of rectangles and is the ratio most pleasing to the human eye. This ratio was also called the “divine ratio” by Leonardo da Vinci.

When you place an imaginary rectangle on the painting, its chin, top of the head, and nose are exactly in line. This golden ratio found in the Mona Lisa may explain why the painting looks so beautiful.

The Mona Lisa painting is still one of the most talked about paintings by the art community even after all this time has passed. So, what do you think about these mysteries? Do not forget to share your ideas with us in the comments section.

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