Happy Birthday to the Real Mona Lisa!

Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo (June 15, 1479 — July 15, 1542) My quest for the real Mona Lisa began years ago in Florence when I was doing research for LA BELLA LINGUA. An art historian who befriended me casually mentioned during a dinner at her home that the mother...

Leonardo and Mona Lisa: Still Famous After All These Years

More than five centuries after his birth on April 15, 1519, Leonardo da Vinci and his Mona Lisa are still making headlines. A front-page article in the New York Times claims that the Saudi Cultural Ministry, which bought Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World)...

Mona Lisa’s Latest Adventure: A Covid Birthday

Leonardo’s muse, Mona (Madame) Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, was born 541 years ago on June 15, 1479.  Few art works have experienced more adventures—and misadventures—in and out of the frame. The Florentine matron has shed her stately robes and appeared in...