The Mona Lisa – a coded mystery

Da Vinci’s enigmatic portrait is often considered the most famous painting in the world and resides in the Louvre museum in Paris behind a sheet of bullet proof glass.

There is much mystery surrounding this small painting – both mathematical and artistic: why the knowing smile, what’s with the background landscape and  why do the proportions follow the Fibonacci sequence? Yet there is more…

Italian art historians have recently placed the painting under a microscope and found that the eyes of the woman contained a series of numbers and letters. The right eye contains the letters LV – thought to be Da Vinci’s monogram whilst the left contains symbols that are not yet defined but are thought to be the letters CE or B. In the background, the bridge is thought to contain the number 72.

The codes are so deep within the painting that they are considered to have been put there by the artist himself as they are in the pupils – the darkest part of the painting. Other paintings of the era also contain such symbols, thought to have been coded messages understandable to those that the painting belonged to, specific to the era.

Italy’s national Committee for cultural heritage were alerted to the code by Luigi Borgia who had chanced upon a 50 year old book in an antique shop, which describes the numbers and letters.

Inspired by this discovery, the committee are now asking permission to exhume Da Vinci’s remains to see if his scull structure matches that of the portrait – it is a common hypothesis that the Mona Lisa is in fact a self portrait with other specialists asserting that da Vinci’s homosexuality lead him to paint himself as a woman.

This painting continues to mystify even the most qualified and experience and perhaps it is this that means that the painting is so widely enjoyed around the world.



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