Lisa del Giocondo (1479 – 15 July 1542 or ca. 1551) was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany in Italy. Her name was given to Mona Lisa, her portrait commissioned by her husband and painted by Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance.
Little is known about Lisa's life. Born in Florence and married in her teens to a cloth and silk merchant who later became a local official, she was mother to five children and led what is thought to have been a comfortable and ordinary middle-class life. Lisa outlived her husband, who was considerably her senior.
Centuries after Lisa's death, Mona Lisa became the world's most famous painting and took on a life separate from Lisa, the woman. Speculation by scholars and hobbyists made the work of art a globally recognized icon and an object of commercialization. In 2005, Lisa was definitively identified as the model for the Mona Lisa.
Leonardo had no income during the spring of 1503, which may in part explain his interest in a private portrait. But later that year, he most likely had to delay his work on Mona Lisa when he received payment for starting The Battle of Anghiari, which was a more valuable commission and one he was contracted to complete by February 1505. In 1506 Leonardo considered the portrait unfinished. He was not paid for the work and did not deliver it to his client. The artist's paintings traveled with him throughout his life, and he may have completed Mona Lisa many years later in France, in one estimation by 1516.
The painting's title dates to 1550. An acquaintance of at least some of Francesco's family, Giorgio Vasari wrote, "Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife" (Italian: Prese Lionardo a fare per Francesco del Giocondo il ritratto di mona Lisa sua moglie). The portrait's Italian (La Gioconda) and French (La Joconde) titles are Lisa's married name as well as nickname—in English, "jocund" or "the happy one".
Speculation assigned Lisa's name to at least four different paintings and her identity to at least ten different people. By the end of the 20th century, the painting was a global icon that had been used in more than 300 other paintings and in 2,000 advertisements, appearing at an average of one new advertisement each week.
In 2005, an expert at the University Library of Heidelberg discovered a margin note in the library's collection that established with certainty the traditional view that the sitter was Lisa. The note, written by Agostino Vespucci in 1503, states that Leonardo was working on a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo. The Mona Lisa has been in custody of France since the 16th century, when it was acquired by King Francis I; after the French Revolution, however, it came into the possession of the people. Today about 6 million people visit the painting each year at the Louvre in Paris, where it is part of a French national collection.
In 2011, the Prado museum in Madrid, Spain, announced discovery of what may be the earliest known replica. Miguel Falomir, heading the Department of Italian Renaissance Painting at the time of the discovery, stated the Prado "had no idea of (the painting's) significance" until a recent restoration. Recovered from the Prado's vaults, the replica – which El Mundo newspaper dubbed "Mona Lisa's twin" was reportedly painted simultaneously alongside Leonardo as he painted his own Mona Lisa; in the same studio, by a "key" student. It was also painted on walnut, as was Leonardo's original. The replica has been part of the Prado's collection since the museum's founding in 1819.
After restoration, the Prado's Mona Lisa revealed details covered by previous restorations and layers of varnish. Furnishings and fabrics were enhanced, as well as landscape and facial features. It is anticipated that such revelations may offer further insight into Leonardo's original. Experts at the Louvre reportedly supported the Prado museum's findings. The Prado replica was subsequently transported to the Louvre in 2012 to be displayed next to Mona Lisa as part of a temporary exhibition.
The Isleworth Mona Lisa is a painting of the same subject as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, at an earlier age. Though insufficiently examined, the painting is claimed by some to be partly an original work of Leonardo dating from the early 16th century.
Shortly before World War I, English art collector Hugh Blaker discovered the painting in the home of a Somerset nobleman in whose family it had been for nearly 100 years. This discovery led to the conjecture that Leonardo painted two portraits of Lisa del Giocondo: the famous one in The Louvre, and the one discovered by Blaker, who bought the painting and took it to his studio in Isleworth, London, from which it takes its name.
According to Leonardo's early biographer Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo had started to paint Mona Lisa in 1503, but "left it unfinished". However, a fully finished painting of a "certain Florentine lady" surfaced again in 1517, shortly before Leonardo's death and in his private possession. The latter painting almost certainly is the same that now hangs in the Louvre. Based on this contradiction, supporters of the authenticity of the Isleworth Mona Lisa claim it to be the unfinished Mona Lisa, made at least partially by Leonardo and originally handed over to its commissioner, and the Louvre Mona Lisa a later version of it, made by Leonardo for his own use.
Also, according to Henry F. Pulitzer in his Where is the Mona Lisa?, Giovanni Lomazzo, an art historian, refers in his Trattato dell'arte della Pittura Scultura ed Architettura, published 1584, to "della Gioconda, e di Mona Lisa (the Gioconda, and the Mona Lisa)". La Gioconda is sometimes used as an alternative title of the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre; the reference implies that these were, in fact, two separate paintings. Pulitzer reproduces the critical page from Lomazzo's tract in his own book.
The Isleworth Mona Lisa is wider than the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, having columns on either side which also appear in some other versions. The Louvre painting merely has the projecting bases of columns on either side, suggesting that the picture was originally framed by columns but was trimmed. However, experts who examined the Mona Lisa in 2004–2005 stated that the original painting had not been trimmed.
The figure of the Isleworth Mona Lisa closely resembles that of the Mona Lisa, being identically composed and lit. However, the face of the Isleworth Mona Lisa appears younger, leading to speculation that it is an earlier version by the artist. According to Pulitzer, multiple art experts agreed that the neck of the Isleworth Mona Lisa is inferior to the necks of other Leonardo subjects, suggesting that somebody else touched up the neck. Several people Pulitzer consulted believed that the hands and face of the portrait were by Leonardo, but the rest may have been finished by another or others.
The background in the Isleworth painting is considerably less detailed than the background in the Louvre painting, causing many art experts cited in Pulitzer's book to suggest that if Leonardo did indeed paint the subject, it is likely somebody else painted the background.
The authenticity of the Isleworth Mona Lisa is widely disputed in the art community. Some argue that as Henry F. Pulitzer himself owned the painting in question, a conflict of interest is present. His Where is the Mona Lisa was published by the Pulitzer Press, a publisher he owned. Pulitzer notes in the introduction to his book that he made a number of sacrifices in order to acquire the painting, including the selling of "a house with all its contents".
Pulitzer argues in his book that Da Vinci's contemporary Raphael made a sketch of this painting, probably from memory, after seeing it in Leonardo's studio in 1504 (the sketch is reproduced in Pulitzer's book; the book says that this sketch is at the Louvre). The Raphael sketch includes the two Greek columns that are found not in the Louvre's Mona Lisa, but are found in the painting bought by Blaker. Pulitzer presents a few pages of art expert testimonials in his book; some of these experts seemed to believe that Leonardo was the painter, others felt the artist was somebody who worked in Leonardo's studio, and still others suggested that other artists may have done it. Supporters of the authenticity of the Isleworth Mona Lisa include art collector John Eyre, who argued that the bust, face, and hands are autographed. (Monograph of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" (London: Grevel, 1915).
Pulitzer also presents laboratory evidence (light to dark ratios across the canvas, X-rays, etc.) that his painting is a Leonardo. However, specific detail on the manner in which these studies were carried out, and by whom, is not provided. He writes: "I have no intention of cluttering up this book with too many technicalities and wish to make this chapter brief". No independent reports on the painting are cited in his text; he uses the pronoun "we" to describe the research conducted (along the lines of "we X-rayed the painting and found that..."). As his own Pulitzer Press then published these results, there is a lack of outside corroboration for his claims.
Hidden in a Swiss bank vault for 40 years, this version of the Mona Lisa was unveiled to the public on 27 September 2012, but Professor Martin Kemp of Oxford University immediately raised doubts about the status of the picture.
In October 2013, Jean Pierre Isbouts published a book entitled 'The Mona Lisa Myth' examining the history and events behind the Louvre and Isleworth paintings, a companion film is scheduled for release in March 2014.
“A mortal god.” This is how Vasari describes Raphael in the ‘Vite’. Even as a youth, Raphael (born Raffaello Santi), 1483-1520, displayed extraordinary artistic ability, and while still in his teens had already completed numerous assignments. In 1504 he came to Florence to hone his talents and for a short time became apprenticed to Leonardo da Vinci. While there, he produced a small pen and brown ink sketch of a young woman. Art historians and Leonardo experts are universally agreed that this drawing was directly influenced by the painting of Mona Lisa del Giocondo while Leonardo was actually working on it. The Mona Lisa Foundation believes, based on its research, that this sketch was based on the earlier ‘Mona Lisa‘, and this places the execution of this painting in the early 1500s.
Pen and ink sketch of a ‘Young Woman on a Balcony’ by Raphael, executed c. 1504 in Florence where he apprenticed himself for a time at Leonardo’s studio. The sketch was most likely directly influenced by Leonardo’s earlier version of the ‘Mona Lisa‘. The flanking columns, the background landscape and the youthful demeanor of the model serve to confirm this.
The striking inclusion of the columns dramatically underscores the fact that the painting as seen by Raphael, and on which Leonardo was working, had columns: this is a critical difference from the Paris version.
Sachi Parker was born in Los Angeles the only child of actress Shirley MacLaine and businessman Steve Parker (1922-2001). At age two, she was sent to Japan to live with her father. During the summer and at holidays, she visited her mother; they posed together on the cover of the February 9, 1959 issue of Life Magazine. Her uncle is actor Warren Beatty. Parker taught skiing in New Zealand, became a waitress in Hawaii, then spent five years as a stewardess for Qantas Airways and a brief time as an au pair in Paris. In 1981 she returned to Los Angeles and decided to become an actress. Parker's work includes television appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Equal Justice and Alien Nation, and small film roles in Stick, About Last Night..., Peggy Sue Got Married and Bad Influence. She has also done small local theater. She starred in the 2009 Japanese film The Witch of the West Is Dead, which showed at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. On February 7, 2013, Penguin Group USA published Parker's autobiography Lucky Me: My Life With – and Without – My Mom, Shirley MacLaine. MacLaine has called the book "virtually all fiction".
Using the Akashic Records, it's easy to connect Sachi Parker with Raphael's sketch, or the Isleworth Mona Lisa, or Lisa del Giocondo - even, all three!
But what of the Louvre's Mona Lisa? The figure of the Isleworth Mona Lisa closely resembles that of the Mona Lisa, being identically composed and lit. However, there are differences. Is it the same sitter? Or was one a woman and the other a man? For now, the mystery remains unsolved.
Gambit is a 1966 comedy film starring Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine as two criminals involved in an elaborate plot centered on a priceless antiquity from millionaire Mr. Shahbandar, played by Herbert Lom. It was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Cockney cat burglar Harry Dean (Michael Caine) and his friend artist Emile discover exotic Hong Kong showgirl Nicole Chang (Shirley MacLaine) in a crowded restaurant. Because she bears an incredible resemblance to the late wife of the world's richest man, Mr. Shahbandar (Herbert Lom), Harry and Emile want to use her in a scheme to rob Shahbandar of a priceless statuette. Nicole initially resists, until they offer her a legal British passport and 5000 US dollars.
Harry and Nicole arrive in Damuz (a fictitious Middle Eastern country) under the assumed identities of Sir Harold and Lady Dean. Gaining Shahbandar's attention, they accept his invitation for the evening. At Shahbandar's mansion, their host shows Harry and Nicole the statuette and invites them to dinner. Harry declines, but persuades Nicole to accept. While Nicole occupies Shahbandar's attention at dinner, Harry sneaks back into the mansion to steal the statuette.
Nicole makes an excuse to leave Shahbandar, and returns to the mansion to help Harry. Together, they steal the statuette but accidentally trigger the alarm. At Harry's insistence, Nicole flees to the airport while he hides from the guards. Harry watches as the guards discover that the statuette is gone but instead of instigating a search, they check a secret compartment in the wall of the room, where the real statuette is hidden. The one on display stolen by Harry is a copy. Harry replaces the original with the fake, and hides the real one in a nearby statue of Buddha.
At the airport, Harry and Nicole agree to travel separately and meet back in Hong Kong. At the reunion, along with Emile, Harry reveals that Shahbandar has already been told where to find the real statuette, and that he never intended to steal the statuette but only give the appearance that it had been stolen so that Emile could sell off a replica he had made earlier. Nicole breaks up with Harry unhappy at his criminal lifestyle, but Harry smashes the replica to prove she is more important to him than his life of crime. Nicole and Harry leave Emile looking disconsolate at the destruction of the replica.
With Nicole and Harry gone, Emile opens a cupboard in his studio, where he has stored three more replicas of the statuette.
Vincenzo Peruggia (October 8, 1881 – October 8, 1925) was an Italian thief, most famous for stealing the Mona Lisa on 21 August 1911.
In 1932 a swashbuckling American journalist named Karl Decker published a piece in the Saturday Evening Post, in which he wrote that in 1914 in Morocco, he met an aristocratic con man, Marqués Eduardo de Valfierno, who told him that he had masterminded the theft as part of a scheme to sell six meticulously forged versions of Mona Lisa to six gullible millionaires. Each would be duped into believing he had secretly bought the picture that had just been famously stolen from the Louvre. But in order to carry out the scam, it was necessary to pull off a highly publicized theft of the real picture. De Valfierno claimed that the scheme netted him millions, and that Peruggia has been well paid for his part, but had kept the original, thinking he could sell that too.
Truths of great import are hidden in plain view, but few, so very few, ever get to see them!
Most of the biographical data relating to famous living, dead or reincarnated persons was either copied directly from articles found at Wikipedia or slightly modified. It therefore remains free under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL).
Past life readings were supplied by trained expert Brianstalin who has studied with various gifted healers and teachers including the Dalai Lama.
Brianstalin reminds us that although the Akashic Records remains the ultimate source of all knowledge, we must access this source directly in order to determine the truth of what he or anybody else is telling us.