A geologist claims to have solved the mystery of the Mona Lisa

Although more than five centuries have passed since its creation, there are still many questions related to every detail of this portrait

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Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Although it is one of the most famous paintings in the world, it is still shrouded in mystery.

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is recognizable by its enigmatic smile.

Although more than five centuries have passed since its creation, there are still many questions related to every detail of this portrait.

Renaissance geologist and historian Anne Pizorusso believes she has solved one of these mysteries - the place where the painting was created.

She used her own knowledge to identify the landscape painted in the portrait.

A 14th-century bridge seen in the background indicates that the painting was created in the Italian town of Lecco, on the shores of Lake Como in the Lombardy region.

Pizaruso presented the findings at a conference in northern Italy.

Combining both scientific fields he deals with, Pizorusso sees Leonardo not only as an artist, but also as a "great geologist".

"I consider him the father of geology, and one of Leonardo's trademarks is geological accuracy.

"If we look at any picture with stones or plants, we see that everything is done perfectly natural and recognizable," she says.

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Speaking for the BBC Global enviroment News Podcast (World Service Global News Podcast), Pizorusso said that following Leonardo's trail, she discovered a place he visited 500 years ago.

"When I look at his paintings and drawings, I see geographical landscapes," she added.

Art historians have been trying for years to identify the bridge in the Mona Lisa painting, which is common to many Italian cities.

"I found out that almost everyone paid attention to the bridges, which is like looking for a mini couper (car).

"They are everywhere in Italy," she added.


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Pizorusso linked the geological features of the Mona Lisa portrait to Lecco, a town on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy, where she believes the work was painted.

"Leonardo spent a lot of time near Como, trying to build a canal from Milan to this lake, and he couldn't do it because there were too many rocky parts," she added.

Pizorusso suggests that the mountain range in the painting represents the Alps, which Leonardo is known to have visited.

He believes that the bridge in the background of the portrait, by Azone Visconti, was built in the 14th century.

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To precisely determine which location it was, Pizoruso used geological applications, like google map (Google Maps) i Google Erta (Google Earth), but also drones.

"Everything fell into place," she stated as she collected everything she had found.

Theories from 2011 suggested that the bridge and road in the Mona Lisa portrait were connected to Bobbia, a small town in northern Italy.

According to claims from 2023, Leonardo da Vinci painted a bridge in the province of Arezzo.

In the past, the Ponte Romito bridge has also been associated with the painting of the Mona Lisa.

The portrait from the sixteenth century is one of the most famous works of art, and it is located in the Louvre museum in Paris.

Leonardo da Vinci, the author of the painting, was not only an artist, but also a sculptor, engineer, scientist, mathematician and inventor.

Although over 500 years old, his discoveries paved the way for today's lifestyle.


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