March 20, 2013

Mo’Li’, Sacred Geometry, and a Surprise in Switzerland or "The New Adventures of Old Mona Lisa"

Will the Real Mona Lisa please stand up?!

No, really. You have been sitting for far too long.

For over three hundred years, critics and patrons alike believed that the only original of me (street name “Mo’Li'”) was in the Louvre in Paris. But on February 13, 2013, Reuters reported that it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the “Isleworth Mona Lisa” – revealed in Geneva in September of 2012 – was, indeed, painted by Signor Da Vinci himself.1 (I’ve been trying to tell them this for centuries!) It is a genuine portrait of me, Mo’Li’, albeit a younger version. (I’m the one on the left. No, right. No – wait!!)

The announcement came as somewhat of a shock in the artistic community and has spread like wildfire, creating quite a brouhaha. The oil-on-canvas (as opposed to oil-on-panel in the Louvre) was unveiled as the “Isleworth Mona Lisa,” and doubting Thomases did what they do best:  They doubted its authenticity, dismissing my portrait as a mere 16th century imitation of the original. Sciocchezze! Controsenso!! Assurditá!!! â Leo' would have said.

However, "truth will out".2

“The tests, one by [Italian geometrist Alfonso Rubino] a specialist in ‘sacred geometry’ and the other by the Swill Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, were carried out in the wake of the Geneva unveiling of the painting last September.
“‘When we add these new findings to the wealth of scientific and physical studies we already had, I believe anyone will find the evidence of a Leonardo attribution overwhelming,’ David Feldman vice-president of the foundation said.

“’The conclusion by the Padua-based Rubino was that the ‘Isleworth’ portrait . . . matched Leonardo’s geometry and must be his.’” 3

The Zurich institute’s carbon-dating test “found that it was almost certainly manufactured between 1410 and 1455 - refuting claims that it was a late 16th century copy.” Doubt no more, you . . . doubters!


Being the most famous muse in the history of the world has been both the joy and bane of my colorful existence over the last 500 years or so. As you may know, I have been stolen, returned, attacked, abused, tarted up, copied, parodied (Paris Hilton? Quick - the smelling salts!), criticized, and reviled. In 1911, Picasso was accused of acting as an accomplice to Guillaume Apollinaire, who was thought to have swept me away from my home nel museo de’Louvre! Two years later it was revealed that I had, in fact, been smuggled under the coat of a mere Italian museum impeigatoââ Vincenzo Peruggia.4 Oh, the shame.

I have been sprayed with red paint and acid, had dishes thrown at me, and had my elbow busted with a heavy stone – among other indignities.âââ Yet, I have remained the most famous muse of all. Of course, now I’m encased in bullet-proof glass. Just pray that the security is as . . . secure in Geneva.

As I said before in my post, “Muse: A Job Description,” the life of a muse is not as exotic or glamorous as it sounds. But for fame that may last centuries, there’s nothing like it. J

May your muse be just around the corner
and put a smile upon your face.

- Mona L.

â Balderdash! Nonsense!! Absurd!!!
ââ Employee
âââ 1956 -- I am sprayed with acid; 1956 – A Bolivian man hurls a rock, damaging my elbow; 1974 – A disturbed Japanese woman sprays red paint on me at the Tokyo National Museum; 2009 – A Russian woman throws a mug at me. Doctors evaluated her to see if she suffered from Stendhal Syndrome, a rare condition in which often perfectly sane individuals momentarily lose all reason and attack a work of art.  Read the article in The Telegraph

2The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare, 1596 

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