30 January 2010
If you ever get to see the real Mona Lisa in the Louvre. You'll be shocked at just how small the thing really is. It's about the size of a standard piece of paper.
The one on top you probably have not seen. Left is the famous one hanging in the Louvre.
Leonardo's masterpiece still holds some strange allure after all these years. But, who was she? Mona Lisa del Giocondo, wife of a Florentine nobleman. At the time of the original painting, she was mourning the loss of her baby and was wearing a transparent veil during the sittings.
It took da Vinci four years to finish the painting, and when it was done, he gave it to the Giocondos as a gift. Now, ol' Leo had a habit of making more than one painting of the same subject. Because it might come in handy. In fact, there are some sixty known Mona Lisa's out there and all are cataloged. All of them just a bit different.
Apparently there was one done for Guiliano de Medici which is a portrait of his mistress at the time, Costanza d'Avalos. Now, this lady had an uncanny resemblance to Mona Lisa del Giocondo. Leonardo nicknamed the piece "La Gioconda"- which means, approximately, "smiler". Sadly, when it was finished, de Medici ran this woman off and married someone else. So, Leonardo took the painting with him to France where it eventually found it's way to London and ultimately became the property of Dr. Henry Pulitzer.
Then came this:
This is La Belle Gabrielle and at one time was in the collection of Lord Spencer of Northamptonshire, England and has been attributed to the school of Leonardo da Vinci. The topless Lisa, as she has come to be known was recently found after apparently being lost for some time. It was hidden behind a wall for nearly one hundred years. Now, obviously this broad looks NOTHING like the other two broads and had to have been a piece Leonardo did for some extra cash or for whatever reason.
So it seems, Leonardo would keep the same idea for these paintings and just swap out the face. Sort of the Photoshop of his day.
Not much is known about La Belle Gabrielle, but she has made a return to the public by hanging in a museum in Vinci, Italy, Leonardo's home.
I bet you never thought you would ever read a bit about art history here, did you?
You never know what is going to show up around here so,