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Symbols in Mona Lisa

January 13, 2011

Art by Aoin

Left Eye: letter “S”
Right Eye: letter “L”
Arched bridge: number “72”

Method: high-definition scanned images from the Lumiere Technology in Paris, which specializes in digitizing artworks. Back in Italy, a Rome laboratory digitally excluded reflexes and other colors in the eyes in order to isolate the letters and make them stand out.

Traditional view: holds that the “Mona Lisa” is a painting of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo, and that Leonardo started painting it in 1503.

Alternative view: But Silvano Vinceti said the “S” might refer to a woman in the Sforza dynasty that ruled Milan. Leonardo spent time there between 1482-1499 and then between 1506-1507, Vinceti said, which might change the date of when the painting was begun.

Source: Italian researcher: symbols found in ‘Mona Lisa’

Update: An Italian art historian, Silvano Vinceti, believes the model for the “Mona Lisa” was a man named Gian Giacomo Caprotti, better known as Salai, a male apprentice (and possible lover) of da Vinci.

At a press conference in Rome on Wednesday, Vinceti explained his theory. “Salai was a favorite model for Leonardo,” Vinceti said. “Leonardo certainly inserted characteristics of Salai in the last version of the ‘Mona Lisa.'” Vinceti pointed out the similarities between the noses and mouths as examples. (Source)

7 comments

  1. I wrote an article about the Silvano Vinceti bit. That the initials in the Mona Lisa’s left eye might unveil who her true model is. (: Speaking of which, I haven’t commented on your blog in a long time! D: So sorry about that.


    • Then this would contradict several already well-established sources pointing to the traditional view of who the model is. As they mention, we need more than such a symbol to back up such a bold claim.

      No problem, glad that you visited and commented🙂


  2. Very interesting research although at the back of my mind, I always have this notion or idea of Mona Lisa’s inspiration being a guy and not some lady of good repute or ill. Is there any research on that? I’m too lazy to look up. I’m certainly not being funny but really, Mona Lisa really do appear masculine to me.


    • haha I blame all that manga you read😛 This is an interesting topic though. I don’t have time, but would be fun to research it.


      • I’d say it’s not only the manga… Leonardo Da Vinci had also a male lover and he has been the model for quite a few of his drawings, if my memory doesn’t cheat me.

        Uhm were are the letters? I can’t see them!

        Btw lately you are quite productive!🙂 Mooo, I need some time to blog, too… But exams are coming up…😦


        • I wonder if you mixed Leo up with the other guy😛

          They are hiding!😛

          Good luck on your exams!🙂

          Productive? haha That’s just the last flare before the extinction. Teaching an undergraduate course at the university will keep me busy, among many other things. Writing my first lecture today.


    • Updated the post! Some interesting things were revealed recently. You were right, Ayu! I am impressed🙂



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