This Italian Town Identified As Possible Birthplace Of Mona Lisa

Ann Pizzorusso proposes that the landscape behind Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa resembles Lecco, Italy, based on geological evidence.

This Italian Town Identified As Possible Birthplace Of Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is a portrait painting by Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci.

Geologist and Renaissance art historian Ann Pizzorusso has proposed a solution to the long-standing mystery surrounding the landscape depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, the Mona Lisa. 

According to a report by The Guardian, Pizzorusso suggests that the backdrop of the painting bears a striking resemblance to the town of Lecco, situated on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy's Lombardy region. 

Pizzorusso identifies specific features in the painting that align with landmarks in Lecco, including the 14th-century Azzone Visconti bridge, the mountain range overlooking the area, and Lake Garlate, which Leonardo is known to have visited 500 years ago. 

She emphasises the undeniable similarities between these elements, expressing her excitement at what she perceives as a significant breakthrough. 

Citing geological evidence, Pizzorusso points out that the rocks depicted in the painting match the limestone formations found in Lecco, noting that Leonardo accurately rendered them in a grey-white colour, consistent with the rock type prevalent in the region. 

Importantly, she highlights the absence of a lake in alternative locations like Bobbio or Arezzo, further reinforcing her argument in favour of Lecco. Pizzorusso is set to present her findings at an upcoming geology conference in Lecco, as reported by The Guardian. 

But focusing on the bridge, she said, wasn't enough. "The arched bridge was ubiquitous throughout Italy and Europe, and many looked very similar. It is impossible to identify an exact location from a bridge alone. They all talk about the bridge, and nobody talks about the geology." "Geologists don't look at paintings, and art historians don't look at geology," she added. 

"Art historians said Leonardo always used his imagination, but you can give this picture to any geologist in the world and they'll say what I'm saying about Lecco. Even a non-geologist can now see the similarities."