“La Gioconda,” or as English-speakers know her, the Mona Lisa.(Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons)
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History remembers Mona Lisa as Lisa del Giocondo, an aristocratic Florentine mother of five whose husband, a cloth and silk merchant, commissioned the portrait.Da Vinci had already painted "The Last Supper" for a Dominican convent when he began toiling on the oil-on-poplar painting. Thus, Calvary rises from behind the Mona Lisa's right shoulder, while the Mount of Olives is on the other side.Fascination with the Mona Lisa endures.A specialist in Renaissance art at Belgium's University of Liege, Fagnart has not read Varvel's book – which, it should be noted, is not always an easy read.This is the portrait of a bourgeois woman like dozens of others from that time, albeit perhaps more difficult to read than other works.
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