Mona Lisa

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Experts Search Convent for Mona Lisa's Body

They hope to use software to reconstruct Lisa Gherardini's face from her skull

(Newser) - A group of researchers have begun scouring a dilapidated convent in Florence with radar devices, in the hopes of digging up the body of Lisa Gherardini—the woman some believe was the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. They hope that if they find her skull, they can...

Team to Unearth Bones... of Mona Lisa?

'CSI art researchers' aim to find out who she is once and for all

(Newser) - Florence researchers are about to excavate the bones of the woman they believe served as the model for Mona Lisa. Their hope is that facial reconstruction will prove once and for all if Lisa Gherardini was the subject of the Leonardo da Vinci portrait that has mesmerized viewers for centuries....

Mona Lisa Was Da Vinci's Gay Lover: Expert

Boy apprentice featured in other paintings, erotic sketches

(Newser) - No wonder she has such a mysterious smile: the lady was a scamp. Mona Lisa isn't the portrait of a local merchant's wife, but was inspired instead by a beautiful boy apprentice who later became Leonardo da Vinci's lover, argues an art expert. Silvano Vinceti, the head of an Italian...

Art Historian Identifies Mona Lisa's Home Town

Bobbio, Italy, depicted in background

(Newser) - Bobbio, Italy, should probably brace itself for a wave of tourists. Art historian Carla Glori has identified the tiny northern town as the place depicted in the background of the Mona Lisa, based on a numerical code hidden within the painting. In the past, many assumed the background was plucked...

Hidden Mona Lisa 'Code' Could Reveal Her True Identity

Real-life Da Vinci Code plays out in Italy

(Newser) - Want to know the true identity of the Mona Lisa? Just look deep into her eyes. Art historians have discovered miniscule numbers and letters painted there, and believe they might give a clue as to who sat for Leonardo Da Vinci's 500-year-old masterpiece. A group in Italy magnified high resolution...

X-Rays Reveal Da Vinci Technique on Mona Lisa

He used amazingly thin layers to achieve 3-D effect

(Newser) - Leonardo da Vinci created the intricate shadows on the Mona Lisa's face by using a meticulous technique called sfumato that results in thin layers of oil and resins, new X-rays of the painting reveal. Da Vinci took the technique to new extremes: His 30 or so layers added a tiny...

Mona Lisa Suffered Sky-High Cholesterol

Pathologist identifies sick subjects of the Renaissance

(Newser) - Leonardo da Vinci's model for the Mona Lisa was smiling despite some serious health problems, according to an Italian pathologist applying his knowledge to Renaissance painting. Professor Vito Franco of the University of Palermo says a tumor on her hand and apparent buildups of fatty acids around her eyes show...

Angry Russian Hurls Cup at Mona Lisa

Really, really miffed that she was denied citizenship

(Newser) - A Russian woman distressed that France had refused to grant her nationality took out her frustration on a defenseless national treasure, Reuters reports. “The woman threw an empty cup at the Mona Lisa, but there was no damage as the cup smashed when it hit the screen protecting the...

Europe's Culture Gets Virtual Backup

EU plans to digitize 10,000 artifacts

(Newser) - European culture is going digital. Priceless items such as the Magna Carta, the Mona Lisa, and the Gutenberg Bible will eventually be accessible worldwide for free on “Europeana,” an online encyclopedia funded by the European Union. It plans to match Google Library Project’s 10 million artifacts by...

Jackie's Charm Sparked US Visit by Mona Lisa

First lady persuaded French to loan painting, boost our culture

(Newser) - Jackie Kennedy executed a diplomatic coup in 1962, when she convinced the smitten French culture minister to send the Mona Lisa on a perilous journey. The painting's visit to the US—"then regarded as a country with hardly any culture at all," in the words of one historian—...

Mona Lisa Mystery Solved
Mona Lisa Mystery Solved

Mona Lisa Mystery Solved

Note from Leonardo contemporary clears up mystery

(Newser) - The true identity of Mona Lisa has puzzled art historians for centuries. A wealthy merchant's wife called Lisa was the obvious candidate, but speculation persisted that the woman with the come-hither smile was Leonardo da Vinci's mother, his lover, or even Leonardo himself. Now German experts say they've solved the...

Hi-Res Pic of 'Mona Lisa' Raises Some Eyebrows

Faded pigments and poor cleaning probably obliterated the hair

(Newser) - Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" has eyebrows and eyelashes, according to one French inventor, answering a long-standing question about the haunting image painted some 500 years ago. Pascal Cotte said he made the discovery using a camera that yielded a 150,000-dots-per-inch photograph, CNN reports, magnifying her face 24...

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