Mona Lisa’s expression? That mysterious (and contrived) smile conceals a new enigma

Five hundred years from the death of Leonardo Da Vinci, in addition to the inventions of the genius from Tuscany, are the mysteries hidden behind his most famous work, the Mona Lisa, the ones which stimulated, throughout the centuries, art historians, scientists, psychologists, philosophers, writers, filmmakers. Theories, studies, experiments, archival research, (and some hoax, it must be said) feed the enigma of the picture preserved in the Louvre portraying Lisa Gherardini, the “Mona Lisa”. But about the fact that we’re looking at Francesco del Giocondo’s wife, even about this, there is no absolute certainty.

Among the most fascinating details, in addition to the now famous “Mona Lisa Effect”, the hypnotic gaze which affects the visitors flocking by the thousands each day in Paris to watch the work live, there is the woman’s smile. A study by the Freiburg University had recently stated that Mona Lisa’s was an expression of happiness. According to an analysis of three Italian neuroscientists, published in the journal Cortex, on the other hand, it would be a “fake”, forced, non-spontaneous smile.

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