The Greatest Love Story Might Be Hidden Behind Mona Lisa’s Eyes – Orange County Register
With Valentine’s Day this month, it’s a perfect time to write about one of the most famous love stories of all time. It’s a story that might raise some eyebrows, except that the main character of this story doesn’t have it.
And that’s not the only secret of the Mona Lisa. The painting has many unanswered questions that have led researchers to study the bewildering woman for centuries.
The question of who painted the Mona Lisa was a matter of debate until 2005, when historians agreed that Leonardo Da Vinci was the artist, based on a notation in one of the many books and artifacts kept at Windsor Castle. It states that Lisa del Giocondo’s wealthy husband commissioned Da Vinci to paint his wife’s portrait to celebrate the birth of their second child.
Painted on a poplar board just over 2 square feet in size, the Mona Lisa lived with several monarchs including King Francis I, King Louis XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte. Eventually the painting ended up in the Louvre.
It became an overnight sensation when an Italian craftsman smuggled the painting out of the museum. People mourned his loss and hailed his return two years later.
Recently, the world-famous painting underwent a $6.3 million renovation; It’s insured for $100 million, stays behind bulletproof glass and, according to French inheritance law, can never be sold.
The painting is still a talking point among lovers of the art world, particularly the Mona Lisa’s eyes, which convey an eerie presence. Since women weren’t portrayed looking so direct, the question arises: What is she thinking?
Another uncertainty is whether the painting is really finished, since Da Vinci’s right hand was partially paralyzed in 1517 before he could finish the Mona Lisa, which may explain why she has no eyebrows.
My question is whether or not the Mona Lisa ever received a valentine, as people left countless notes, flowers, and other memorabilia when the painting disappeared more than 100 years ago. Due to the advanced security measures surrounding the Mona Lisa, such a thing is probably forbidden today.
But one thing stays the same on Valentine’s Day. It is a holiday when people express their feelings to others with cards, flowers and special occasions. And this “love” holiday dates back to 1380, when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote 699 lines of romantic poetry to celebrate the union of King Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia.
Just like people’s adoration for the Mona Lisa, February 14 has literally captured our hearts. Happy Valentines Day.
Writer, editor and speaker Cheryl Russell lives in Laguna Woods Village. Contact her at Cheryl@starheart.com.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/12/greatest-love-story-may-be-hidden-behind-mona-lisas-eyes/ The Greatest Love Story Might Be Hidden Behind Mona Lisa’s Eyes – Orange County Register