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Don't forget to smile! Photo by Marie Calica
Don't forget to smile! Photo by Marie Calica

The Mona Lisa is immortalized as having THE mysterious smile. Hmmm, she’s got something up her sleeve and to this day, both men and women can just guess what she’s smiling about. What is it, Mona Lisa?

Way back in college (way, way back), we learned that Leonardo’s Mona Lisa was the wife of  Francesco del Giocondo. The painting was also known as la Giaconda.

Somewhere around 2003 (I’m not so sure), experts mentioned that the Mona Lisa was actually a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Bone structure and other facial features were compared to that of da Vinci. This was quite a shock to a lot of people.

Well, I think it could just have been a coincidence. I recall painting a man in jeans during one of our anatomy classes. What a disaster — the poor guy ended up looking like me!

mona lisa sulzer-1988
Mona Lisa by sulzer-1988

Anyway, the Mona Lisa remains to be the most famous painting. No wonder hundreds of art lovers and tourists alike flock to the Louvre Museum in Paris just to have a glimpse of her smile.

Heading for Paris? I’m sure you’ve made up your mind to visit the Louvre. Before you go, I suggest you check out two of these books:

Rick Steve’s Mona Winks provides you with the information on doing self-guided museum trips around Europe. The Annotated Mona Lisa provides you with art info arranged in such a fun and interesting way covering 25,000 years of art!

These two books provide you with a crash course to understanding and appreciating art. Don’t just go there and pose a la Paris Hilton in front of Mona! Stay a while and try to go back to when the painting was being created. How did it make you feel?

If you want  more Mona Lisa information, check out Monalisamania. Check out the scholarly and good guesses posted by fans of the Mona Lisa! You’ll be surprised — there are posts from teenagers and from far-flung lands! It’s a great read, specially if you’re about to go to the Louvre or just arrived back home from Europe.

Leonardo da Vinci by Jezebelcharms
Leonardo da Vinci Steampunk charm bracelet by Jezebelcharms

Here’s a charming bracelet I found on etsy perfect for that Mona Lisa moment. Like it? Check out this item by JezebelCharms. Here’s her description:

There are seven silver plated picture charms all decoupaged with images of Leonardo’s works including Mona Lisa and the Virtuvian Man. The main charm is a vintage pocket watch movement (29mm wide) which I’ve decoupaged a dictionary extract of the word ‘codex’. The other charms are Eiffel Tower (Paris, where the Mona Lisa is !), a cross, a butterfly, a heart and a fleur de lis.

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