«Mona Lisa»: Leonardo’s talent, the new series is on newsstands

The second volume of the series on Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), inaugurated in the five-hundredth anniversary of his death, with texts by the writer Marco Malvaldi, is dedicated to the Mona Lisa. The book is on newsstands from Friday, May 10 with the “Corriere della Sera” and “Gazzetta dello Sport”, at the price of 9.90 €, plus the cost of one of the two newspapers.

The work of which we speak of is an oil painting on a wooden panel made by Leonardo, dating from the period between 1503 and 1504. So far the technical, informative, educational side, in short the one most far away from the myth and, therefore, the “true-truth” of the Mona Lisa, also called the Gioconda, the mythical one, which almost everyone sooner or later has had to confront. In the school textbooks; among the walls of the Louvre in Paris, where, in the Salle des États, the table is now preserved and (unfairly) puts in its shade the Canaan’s Wedding Feast by Veronese; gazing at the cover of “Da Vinci’s Code” by Dan Brown; taking in one’s hands one of the many gadgets on which that enigmatic smile has been reproduced.

Why is the Mona Lisa a mystery, beautiful and intriguing, but all in all still a mystery like so many others (at least apparently): who is that woman? Is she really Lisa Gherardini, or any of the guys admired by the master? Those hills in the background are Tuscan, Piacenza’s, or French? What did Guillaume Apollinaire and Pablo Picasso have to do with its theft consumed in the night between Sunday 20 and Monday, August 21, 1911? How did the president John Fitzgerald Kennedy and first lady Jackie manage in 1962 to borrow that “immovable” table which would have been exhibited in Washington and New York? How many “certificate” Mona Lisa’s copies really exist (the most recent one would be a Nude Mona Lisa preserved in the Museo Ideale in Vinci, even though there exists another Mona Lisa, equally naked, in the Chantilly castle’s Condé Museum)?

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