Mona Lisa

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The Mona Lisa is one of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings. Painted sometime in the early 1500s, the Mona Lisa has earned the reputation for also being shrouded in mystery due to the complex emotional depiction of its subject. To many people, it is uncertain whether she is smiling, happy, content, or impartial. As a result there have been many different analyses of her represented facial musculature.

Until recently, the actual subject of the painting has been one of some uncertainty. Anecdotal or circumstantial evidence provided by 16th century painter and historian Giorgio Vasari identified the subject as "Lisa Gherardini" in his book "Lives of the Artists". Lisa Gherardini was the wife of a wealthy Florentine silk merchant by the name of Francesco del Giocondo. According to Veit Probst, the director of the Heidelberg University Library the subject's name is actually Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, revealed in a series of letters written in October, 1503 by Agostino Vespucci, a Florentine city official.[1]


  1. Lorenzi, Rossella (2008-01-16). Mona Lisa's Identity Confirmed by Document. Discovery Communications, LLC. Retrieved on 2008-01-16.