The landscape in the background of “the Mona Lisa” finally identified? – Liberation

The landscape in the background of “the Mona Lisa” finally identified? – Liberation
The landscape in the background of “the Mona Lisa” finally identified? – Liberation

Geologist and art historian Ann Pizzorusso is convinced that the view behind Mona Lisa belongs to the city of Lecco, in northern Italy, reports this Saturday, May 11, “The Guardian”. A potentially major discovery.

Imaginary or real? The view behind the famous Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century, has long sparked intense debate. Some art historians suggest that the view was invented by the artist, others are convinced that it depicts specific Italian locations. As recounted The Guardian, Ann Pizzorusso, a geologist and Renaissance art historian who combined her two areas of expertise, believes she has solved the mystery. This claims that Leonardo da Vinci painted several recognizable features of Lecco, on the shores of Lake Como in the Lombardy region of northern Italy.

First, the specialist compared the bridge, mountain range and lake behind Mona Lisa to Lecco’s 14th-century Azzone Visconti Bridge, the southwest Alps overlooking the area and Lake Garlate, visited 500 years ago by the painter. And the similarities are undeniable, assures the art historian.

Gray-white limestone rocks

Previous theories date back to 2011 that a bridge and road in the painting belong to Bobbio, another town in northern Italy, and to 2023 claiming that Leonardo da Vinci painted a bridge in the province of Arezzo. But focusing on the bridge is irrelevant, says Ann Pizzorusso. “Arch bridges were ubiquitous throughout Italy and Europe and many looked similar. It is impossible to identify an exact location from a single bridge”she explains, deploring that no one was interested in geology. “Geologists don’t look at paintings and art historians don’t look at geology”she added.

Thus, Ann Pizzorusso noticed that the rocks of Lecco are limestone and that those in the painting are gray-white in color: “which is perfect, because that’s the type of rock there is” in Lecco. She adds that neither Bobbio nor Arezzo has a lake, unlike Lecco. The evidence that favors this small town in Lombardy is therefore “really perfect” since Vinci always stressed to his students the importance of representing nature accurately. For his research on the Mona Lisa, the specialist went to Lecco, following in the painter’s footsteps: “We know from his notebooks that he spent a lot of time exploring the area,” as well as territories further north, she says.

While Leonardo da Vinci is the artist “the most scientific of all time”says Michael Daley, director of the NGO ArtWatch UK, he salutes the scientific knowledge of Ann Pizzorusso, who thus notices things “capitals”. “Pizzorusso clearly identified the location with evidence of Leonardo’s presence in the area, its geology and, of course, a bridge”he congratulated again. “I do not doubt for a single second that Pizzorusso is right in his theory, given his perfect knowledge of the geology of the Italian country”added Jacques Franck, a former consultant at the Louvre Museum.

Ann Pizzorusso is due to present her evidence at a geology conference in Lecco on May 11 and 12. “I am euphoric about these discoveries – and there is an almost certain possibility that Leonardo painted [le paysage] from the exact location where we are holding our conference”she savored.

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