Books

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The Mona Lisa Myth: How new discoveries unlock the final mystery of the world’s most famous painting by Jean-Pierre Isbouts and Christopher Heath Brown 
Following the announcement of another Mona Lisa portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, held in a Swiss bank vault for over 40 years, this book is the first to analyze the meaning of this astonishing discovery, and how it radically changes our understanding of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. By tracing Leonardo’s movements in Florence on an almost day-to-day basis, Drs. Isbouts and Brown are able to reconstruct the fascinating chronology of the Mona Lisa portrait, and show how the subject ultimately became an obsession in the latter part of Leonardo’s life. The authors posit that whereas the Swiss Mona Lisa is clearly a portrait drawn from life of a young Florentine woman, the Louvre Mona Lisa is the culmination of Leonardo’s lifelong quest for the mystery of motherhood, as expressed in his more than ten paintings of the Madonna motif. Written as narrative history, yet grounded in modern scholarship, The Mona Lisa Myth not only shatters the portrait’s mythology, but also offers a bold new interpretation of the world’s most famous painting that will revolutionize our understanding of Leonardo life and work.


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