La Giaconde (The Mona Lisa): Background information when reading Stealing Mona Lisa

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Stealing Mona Lisa

A Mystery

By Carson Morton

Stealing Mona Lisa
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2011,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2012,
    352 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
La Giaconde (The Mona Lisa)

An early 16th century oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci, The Mona Lisa is believed to have been created between 1503-1507 in Florence (though it is rumored that da Vinci did not actually complete it until 1519, just before his death in France). The painting is probably inspired by Lisa Gherardini, the wife of an Italian merchant. In 2005, a scholar at the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Armin Schlechter, discovered a manuscript containing a marginal note written by a Florentine chancellery official, Agostino Vespucci, which mentions Lisa - helping to confirm the subject's identity as well as the dates of the work.

The Mona Lisa Portraiture had existed prior to da Vinci's famous painting, but The Mona Lisa stands out for its masterful sense of composition and balance, the intimacy of the subject, and the handling of figure, depth, and foreground. The sfumato technique (from the Latin fumare, "to smoke"), in which edges are softened by blending color in miniscule brush strokes, also helped ...

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