Thursday, September 28, 2006

[la gioconda] was she pregnant

Presume you saw the Forbes piece about the parturient la Gioconda model. "Thanks to laser scanning, we were able to uncover the very fine gauze veil Mona Lisa was wearing on her dress. This was something typical for either soon-to-be or new mothers at the time," explained Michel Menu, of the French Museums' Centre for Research and Restoration. Seems far fetched to me. Lisa Gherardini, the wife of the wealthy Florentine silk merchant was 24 when Da Vinci began painting her in 1503; she outlived her husband and had five children. The portrait may have been commissioned to commemorate the birth of her second son. Da Vinci was still working on the piece when he emigrated to France in 1516 and is believed to have finished it just before his death three years later. It’s not the first time the idea has been raised.

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