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La Joconde est un homme?

It is the myth and hype around it which has made this portrait of lady Giacondo world-famous. Or pardon me, the portrait of Gian Giacomo Caprotti as stated by an Italian art research team?

The portrait
Till yesterday the world believed Mona Lisa was a portrait of Lisa del Giacondo from Firenze (Florence), Italy. That’s why the french people calls this painting lovingly La Joconde and the Italians La Gioconda from her family name Giacondo.

Mona Lisa painting isn’t big. It only measures 77 x 53 cm. It’s displayed behind glass in a room where most Louvre’s visitors go to. Da Vinci painted this in oil on poplar panel. It is amazing to see how it has survived many thefts, vandalism and 5 centuries.

Mona Lisa

Da Vinci began painting it in 1503. At 1507 it was completed. The French king, king François bought the painting in 1516. He somehow believed it was cut down. Some speculators think that the original had columns on both sides of the lady, whereas other art critics believe that the painting was never cut down in size. It has been suggested that there were 2 versions of the Mona Lisa painting, but many historians reject the second version. After the french revolution La Joconde was moved to the Louvre Museum where it has been exhibited ever since.

The artwork
The mysterious smile of Mona Lisa has inspired many, such as Mona Lisa the song by Nat King Cole.

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you
You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only ’cause you’re lonely they have blamed you?
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

Personally I find the back ground more intriguing than the smile. Since the painting is surprisingly small compared to its fame. In that limited space Da Vinci managed to visualize a quite detailed landscape.  That is some work. The colour tone is however too dark to my opinion but that was a style at that era.

Does she need a proof?
In 2008 the staff of University of Heidelberg found a proof that the lady in  the painting indeed was Lisa del Giacondo. The proof is a note in a book which once belonged to Agostine Vespucci. Vespucci was Da Vinci’s acquintance and worked at that time at the municipality of Florence.

Despite this evidence, today it is presented that Mona Lisa was a man. Not only had Gian Giacomo Caprotti modelled for this famous painting but he also was Da Vinci’s lover according to the research team.

I don’t know what to do with this conclusion. I find it rather interesting to pay attention to art history that’s why I wrote this post.

art historyguide
Het Parool kunst


2 thoughts on “La Joconde est un homme?

  1. The question whether she was a he is a nice conversation piece, though I guess it doesn’t affect the beauty and charm of the painting at all. Or rather I should say it may even contribute to the fascination. That’s probably why every decade or so, some kind of experts “reveal” this kind of secrets.

  2. Yes, I agree with you. People in the art world add more (unsolved) mysteries to some art works. Cause this happens not only with one artist but more. Remember the story about who really did cut Van Gogh’s ear?

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