There's been some talk recently about whether or not Ms. Lisa is actually smiling in DaVinci's Mona Lisa portrait. And according to the Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante, Spain, it's in our heads to decide. But anyways, onto a more important topic....what if the Mona Lisa wasn't acutally "gasp!" Mona Lisa? The horror!
According to Roberto Zapperi, the painting (which is actually referred to as La Giocondo) does not depict Lisa del Giocondo, the wide of the welathy Florentine merchant for whom the painting was reportedly commissioned. Roberto says the woman in the painting is Pacifica (awesome name, right?) Brandani, on of Julien de Medicis' many lovers.
What gives Roberto the idea that Pacifica is the woman in the portrait? He discovered written minutes from a meeting between da Vinci and Cardinal Louis d'Aragon. daVinci presented the Cardinal with three paintings; including the Mona Lisa, which was allegedly a portrait of Brandani commissioned by de Medicis. This leads me to wonder, if Julien de Medicis commissioned the portrait, then why didn't he own it? Well, Brandani died shortly after she had an illegitimate child with her lover. There's your explanation.
Roberto thinks its unfortunate that experts have known for many years about Brandani's identity, but choose to ignore it and favor Vasari's 1550 version of the events, which posits that the image is of Lisa del Giocondo, who “did not even know Julien de Médicis,” according to Zapperi.
This obviously hasn't stopped the crowds from coming in droves to the Louvre to see the woman every single day. Speaking of daVinci, the Biggs staff is having a video web conference with some of the staff members of the Leonardo daVinci Museum today to begin working on a new project. I think some very exciting times are ahead for us. Stay tuned.