"Mona Lisa": the puzzle picture

Life view that "a picture is worth a thousand words." But the "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci makes historians, art historians and ordinary people to talk about themselves more than one hundred years. This small portrait, which is on display in the Louvre, called "the most famous, the most discussed and most parodied in the world." And in-depth studies of the canvas, which were carried out at different times, have opened a lot of interesting secrets.

1. Who is she?

The true identity of the woman depicted in the portrait remains a mystery. Most scientists believe that this woman is a 24-year-old Lisa Marie de Gherardini (aka Lisa del Giocondo), an Italian noblewoman, who was born in Florence in 1479. The portrait was commissioned by the husband of Lisa, Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanobi del Giocondo, a trader in silk and cloth. She gave birth to five children: Piero, Andrea, Camille, Giocondo, and Marietta.

According to another hypothesis, the picture captured Caterina Sforza, Countess of Forli, which is renowned for its military conflict with Cesare Borgia. Another theory suggests that the young lady was the mistress of Giuliano de 'Medici, ruler of Florence, or Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua. There is a version that the woman in the portrait - mother of da Vinci and even himself a great artist.

2. Mona Lisa Smile

An intriguing and mysterious smile of the Mona Lisa is perhaps one of the most mysterious elements of painting da Vinci. For five centuries arguing whether it is a girl smiling in the portrait, she is happy or sad. Professor Margaret Livingstone of Harvard University suggests that a smile is seen due to the specifics of the painting only when viewers watch the Mona Lisa's eyes.

After the development of computer programs "emotion recognition" in 2005 by Dutch researchers have found that the painting expresses happiness by 83 percent, disgusted by 9 percent, fear by 6 per cent, anger at 2 percent, the neutrality at the level of less than 1 percent and surprise 0 percent. However, many argue that the smile of the Mona Lisa changes depending on where to look at the big picture, what angle and from any distance. When the close-up view small details give the impression that a person has a modest expression. But from a distance it seems that the Mona Lisa is smiling cheerfully.

3. Secret Codes

Italian experts from the National Committee for Cultural Heritage of Italy thanks to an increase in the microscopic picture revealed the presence of a series of numbers and letters printed on the numerous elements of the painting canvas. Art historian Silvano Vincheti argues that the right eye of the Mona Lisa has the letters "LV", which theoretically represent the artist's own name, the Leonardo da Vinci. In the left eye can see the fuzzy outlines of the letters "CE" or perhaps a "B". On the bridge in the background was able to see the number "72" or letter "of L", followed by "2" painted on the arch of the bridge. We can only guess what the artist had in mind when he so mysteriously painted the letters and figures, which are invisible to the naked eye.

4. Unknown bridge

For the charm of Mona Lisa's face often do not notice the mysterious appearance in the background. Today, many wonder - what is this mysterious three-arch bridge in the background, and in general - what the exact location of the misty, mysterious landscape, against which painted the Mona Lisa.

Italian historian Carla Glori suggests that the bridge over the left shoulder, the woman known as the Ponte Gobbo or Ponte Vecchio ( "Old Bridge"). It is located in Bobbio, a small village in a hilly area south of Piacenza in northern Italy. Glory theory was based on the discovery of "72", secretly hidden in the image of the stone bridge. She suggests that this number refers to 1472. In 1472 there was a catastrophic flood. Trebbia River burst its banks and destroyed bridges Bobbio. In his book "The Mystery of Leonardo" Glory argues that "Leonardo added the number 72 beneath the bridge to record the memory of the devastating floods of the river Trebbia."

5. The alarm view

Surely, some wondered how it is possible that the Mona Lisa look like stretches somewhere outside the picture, but at the same time it is aimed directly at the viewer. No matter which side to look at the painting, the Mona Lisa continues to "look directly at the viewer." It would seem, in our three-dimensional world of shadows and light on the surface must "shift" depending on angle of view, but it does not apply to two-dimensional surfaces. Such an optical phenomenon can be explained by scientific theory, described by experts from the University of Ohio, in which it is proved that the image may look the same regardless of the angle at which it is viewed.

manipulation workshop of Leonardo da Vinci to paint on the canvas creates a very realistic sense of depth in the interaction of light and shadow. This phenomenon creates a perspective and gives the Mona Lisa her a worried look.

6. The hidden picture for portrait

Using infrared and laser imaging technology in the "Mona Lisa", Canadian scientists in 2006 discovered on the canvas drafts da Vinci, including a change in the position of the index and middle fingers of his left hand. They were far from the only opening in the picture - and there were lace of the dress and veil Mona Lisa on her lap.

In 2015, French engineer Pascal Cotte used similar methods of projecting light beams of different wavelengths onto the canvas, and then measure the amount of reflected light. Curiously, his discovery allowed to see the secret portrait, painted over modern painting. Kott found four images at a modern image, including a portrait of a young woman with tiny features and without a smile. There are different theories about the real identity of the woman in the picture, but perhaps her true identity will remain a mystery forever.

7. Pregnant Mona Lisa

Some art historians believe that the woman in the picture is Lisa del Giocondo, and she was pregnant at the time, when da Vinci wrote a portrait of her. Her hands are crossed on a rounded belly, and there is historical evidence that del Giocondo was pregnant for the second time at the time of the painting, and that the portrait was painted just after that. In addition, the infrared images indicate that it shoulders the drape (veil) of flax, which at that time were usually worn by pregnant women. It has been suggested that the veil could be a scarf or a piece of cloth draped over her shoulders.

However, Mona Lisa hands crossed over her stomach, historically accurate timing of her pregnancy and the use of such a veil on the portrait of a pregnant Brandini Esmeralda, written by Sandro Botticelli, suggest that the mysterious Mona Lisa smile, hiding a small tummy.

8. Why it is considered beautiful

Throughout history, a portrait of the Mona Lisa was cited as an example of eternal beauty. It would be very naive to assume that the beauty and intrigue of the Mona Lisa are limited only by her eyes and her smile, as she seems to be the epitome of the so-called golden ratio (the ratio of a certain length and width is assumed to be the most aesthetically pleasing proportion to the human eye). Present in natural structures, such as the spiral center of a sunflower and man-made, such as the columns of the Parthenon, the golden section was called "divine proportion" by Leonardo da Vinci.

If around the face of the Mona Lisa draw a rectangle in accordance with this relationship, her chin, nose and crown obtained perfectly aligned. The predominance of the golden section in art, perhaps explains the mysterious suspense felt by those who see the portrait. The proportions of the Mona Lisa are considered the most pleasing to the eye, creating a sense of natural balance and beauty. Who knew math could explain this feeling of charm

9. Theft

"Mona Lisa" was stolen in 1911 by an Italian employee of the Louvre by Vincenzo Perugia. He believed that the painting was stolen by Napoleon Bonaparte in Florence and wanted the painting "returned to his real home." Within two years, the location of the painting remained a complete mystery, and the media all over the world have speculated about possible causes of the lack of paintings in the museum and its location. In 1913 Perugia was contacted by an Italian art dealer Alfredo Geri and asked for a refund from the Italian government in exchange for the transportation of "Mona Lisa" back to Florence.

Given that Perugia requested for returning the painting to Italy pittance (in this case 2 years kept it under the mattress in the apartment), people suspected that the incident with the stolen painting was simply a ruse, designed to help increase interest in the painting and the gallery. When it became clear that the thief, who collaborated with Perugia, was none other than the famous forger of art Eduardo de Valferno, there was a theory that the "Mona Lisa" was stolen to make a copy of the painting and sell counterfeit copies ignorant collectors for huge money.

10. Is Mona Lisa's health?

The mystery of the mysterious Mona Lisa may have been finally revealed the Boston physician. Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra diagnosed Mona Lisa hormonal disorders, when he noticed the strange details of her appearance - pale complexion, thinning hair and a slightly skewed smile. Mehra is the director of cardiovascular center at Brigham Women's Hospital. The doctor said that it is difficult not to pay attention to clinical diagnoses. Mehra noticed the presence of a small fleshy bulge at the inner corner of the left eye, her thinning hair and receding hairline, absence of hair on the eyebrows and a bulge near the index finger. In combination with a yellow skin and its bulge in the neck (m. E. Increased thyroid gland) it is made to assume that odd smile Dzhokondy may be caused by muscle weakness. Thus, he concluded that the Mona Lisa was suffering from a condition called hypothyroidism. Mehra continued his study of the historical conditions related to diet women, and found that the food with iodine deficiency used to be typical for the beginning of the XVI century. Since iodine is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining the health of the thyroid gland, a curious mystery of the Mona Lisa smile, finally, it may be disclosed.