London: An Italian art historian
claims to have solved the mystery of the exact location of the
landscape which provides the background to Leonardo da Vinci`s
masterpiece Mona Lisa.
Carla Glori believes that a hidden clue in the famous
artwork identifies the exact location of the landscape.
According to her, a three-arched bridge which appears
over the left shoulder of the woman with the enigmatic smile
is a reference to Bobbio, a village which lies in rugged hill
country south of Piacenza, in northern Italy.
Her theory is based on the recent discovery by
another art historian, Silvano Vinceti, of the numbers 7 and 2
artfully concealed in the span of the stone bridge, `The Daily
Glori believes the numerals are a reference to
1472, the year in which a devastating flood destroyed Bobbio`s
bridge. Historical records show that the bridge, known as the
Ponte Gobbo or Ponte Vecchio (the Old Bridge), was swept away
when the River Trebbia burst its banks that year.
"Leonardo added in the number 72 beneath the bridge to
record the devastating flood of the River Trebbia and to allow
it to be identified," said Glori, who sets out the theory in a
new book, `The Leonardo Enigma`.
Leonardo was born in the town of Vinci in Tuscany but
travelled extensively in Italy during his lifetime and worked
in Venice, Rome and Bologna.
The artist started painting the Mona Lisa in 1503
or 1504 in Florence, but did not finish it until years later,
after he had moved to France to work under the patronage of
King Francois I.
The painting was kept in the Palace of Versailles
until it was moved to the Louvre Museum in Paris, and remains
the property of the French state.