Mona Lisa

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It's Raining So Much in Paris the Louvre Is Closed

Rising waters in France, Germany, and Belgium have already led to at least 6 deaths

(Newser) - The Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay closed their doors to the public Thursday as the Seine crept up past its normal water levels, prompting fears of flooding and peril to famous works in both Paris art institutions, the Independent reports. Local cops say that flood warnings for areas along... More »

Da Vinci May Have Used Male Model for Mona Lisa

Androgyny a "longtime fascination" for painter, says art detective

(Newser) - The Mona Lisa is two-faced. At least that's what a self-proclaimed Italian art detective says. Silvani Vinceti says his research shows that Leonardo da Vinci used two models—one female and one male—to create the famous 16th-century portrait that hangs at the Louvre, the Guardian reports. "I... More »

Behind Mona Lisa's Smile: Another Woman?

Pascal Cotte used reflective light technology to analyze the paint layers

(Newser) - Will the real Mona Lisa please stand up—or at least send us a signal from within the paint layers? The art world is buzzing over a French scientist's claims that he discovered a portrait of another woman lurking beneath the top layer of the world's most famous... More »

Italy Fumes Over Rifle Ad With Statue of David

ArmaLite sparks row over ad for $3K rifle

(Newser) - Italians are a wee bit upset about an ArmaLite ad that shows a massive $3,000 rifle cradled in the arms of Michelangelo's David, the BBC reports. "The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law," tweeted culture minister Dario Franceschini. He vowed to take action... More »

DNA Tests Begin in Quest for the Real Mona Lisa

Bones unearthed in Florence could belong to painting's model

(Newser) - A three-year quest that has put researchers on a path toward what they hope is the "real" face of the Mona Lisa winds closer to its conclusion: Silvano Vinceti says DNA tests have begun on a skeleton his team unearthed in July 2012 in Florence , in an effort to... More »

Next in Mona Lisa Drama: Digging Up the Family Tomb

Lisa Gherardini's sons could provide a DNA match

(Newser) - Digging up the Mona Lisa was just the beginning, apparently. Now it's time to open her family's tomb for DNA samples of her two sons, NBC News reports. Last year, researchers exhumed several bodies in Florence, Italy, hoping one belonged to Lisa Gherardini—the likely model for Leonardo... More »

Meet 'Mini Lisa,' Thinner Than a Human Hair

Georgia Tech creates tiny copy with nanotechnology

(Newser) - Leonardo da Vinci used oil-based paint to create his Mona Lisa. The folks at Georgia Tech used ThermoChemical NanoLithography to create their version, dubbed the "Mini Lisa," reports the Christian Science Monitor . The result? An almost indescribably small gray-scale copy. Think one third the width of a human... More »

Mona Lisa Sent to Outer Space via Laser

Feat represents a major advancement in laser communication

(Newser) - Outer space just got a little more cultured. NASA scientists have successfully beamed an image of the Mona Lisa to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using a special laser signal, a feat that represents a major leap in laser communication technology, reports. "This is the first time anyone... More »

Next Step in Mona Lisa Quest: DNA Testing

Reconstruction of Lisa Gheradini's face may give clues about famed painting

(Newser) - Art history fans have a good reason to crack a smile: We're getting closer to determining whether Lisa Gherardini did indeed serve as the model for Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa, reports CNN . Researchers in Italy have been sorting through a set of exhumed bones —currently... More »

Art Group: This Is Young Mona Lisa

Swiss foundation says da Vinci painted two works, 10 years apart

(Newser) - The world has a second Mona Lisa painting by da Vinci to ooh and aah over, says a Swiss art group. The Mona Lisa Foundation asserted today that years of historical and scientific research proves that the artist painted two portraits of Lisa del Giocondo at different ages, about 10... More »

Mona Lisa's Bones Unearthed?

Team finds intact skeleton in former Florence convent

(Newser) - We may be getting a little closer to discovering the secret of Mona Lisa's smile. Experts on Tuesday unearthed an intact skeleton beneath the floor of a former convent in Florence, and say this one could indeed belong to Lisa Gherardini. The tomb hunters last year said they had... More »

'Sister' Mona Lisa Found

Experts believe copy was painted by artist working alongside da Vinci

(Newser) - A stunning art find means that we can now see what Mona Lisa really looked like, say experts at Madrid's Prado Museum. The museum's researchers found that a painting in its vaults long thought to have been just one of dozens of replicas of Leonardo da Vinci's... More »

Experts Search Convent for Mona Lisa's Body

They hope to use software to reconstruct Lisa Gherardini's face from her skull

(Newser) - A group of researchers have begun scouring a dilapidated convent in Florence with radar devices, in the hopes of digging up the body of Lisa Gherardini—the woman some believe was the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. They hope that if they find her skull, they can... More »

Team to Unearth Bones... of Mona Lisa?

'CSI art researchers' aim to find out who she is once and for all

(Newser) - Florence researchers are about to excavate the bones of the woman they believe served as the model for Mona Lisa. Their hope is that facial reconstruction will prove once and for all if Lisa Gherardini was the subject of the Leonardo da Vinci portrait that has mesmerized viewers for centuries.... More »

Mona Lisa Was Da Vinci's Gay Lover: Expert

Boy apprentice featured in other paintings, erotic sketches

(Newser) - No wonder she has such a mysterious smile: the lady was a scamp. Mona Lisa isn't the portrait of a local merchant's wife, but was inspired instead by a beautiful boy apprentice who later became Leonardo da Vinci's lover, argues an art expert. Silvano Vinceti, the head of an Italian... More »

Art Historian Identifies Mona Lisa's Home Town

Bobbio, Italy, depicted in background

(Newser) - Bobbio, Italy, should probably brace itself for a wave of tourists. Art historian Carla Glori has identified the tiny northern town as the place depicted in the background of the Mona Lisa, based on a numerical code hidden within the painting. In the past, many assumed the background was plucked... More »

Hidden Mona Lisa 'Code' Could Reveal Her True Identity

Real-life Da Vinci Code plays out in Italy

(Newser) - Want to know the true identity of the Mona Lisa? Just look deep into her eyes. Art historians have discovered miniscule numbers and letters painted there, and believe they might give a clue as to who sat for Leonardo Da Vinci's 500-year-old masterpiece. A group in Italy magnified high resolution... More »

X-Rays Reveal Da Vinci Technique on Mona Lisa

He used amazingly thin layers to achieve 3-D effect

(Newser) - Leonardo da Vinci created the intricate shadows on the Mona Lisa's face by using a meticulous technique called sfumato that results in thin layers of oil and resins, new X-rays of the painting reveal. Da Vinci took the technique to new extremes: His 30 or so layers added a tiny... More »

Mona Lisa Suffered Sky-High Cholesterol

Pathologist identifies sick subjects of the Renaissance

(Newser) - Leonardo da Vinci's model for the Mona Lisa was smiling despite some serious health problems, according to an Italian pathologist applying his knowledge to Renaissance painting. Professor Vito Franco of the University of Palermo says a tumor on her hand and apparent buildups of fatty acids around her eyes show... More »

Angry Russian Hurls Cup at Mona Lisa

Really, really miffed that she was denied citizenship

(Newser) - A Russian woman distressed that France had refused to grant her nationality took out her frustration on a defenseless national treasure, Reuters reports. “The woman threw an empty cup at the Mona Lisa, but there was no damage as the cup smashed when it hit the screen protecting the... More »

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