Historian discovers secret behind one of the Mona Lisa's biggest mysteries

Historian discovers secret behind one of the Mona Lisa's biggest mysteries
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An art historian has just figured out something interesting about the Mona Lisa.

The 1503 Leonardo da Vinci painting has fascinated people for hundreds of years and is so revered, protestors knew it would make people gasp when they smeared cake on it recently.

And now, we might know just where the bridge in the background of the portrait is, thanks to Silvano Vinceti and the Le Rocca cultural association who looked at newly discovered historical documents and compared the current landscape with the painting using a drone.

"It is the Romito Etruscan-Roman bridge, also known as Ponte di Valle, located in the municipality of Laterina in the province of Arezzo," Vinceti told Italian publication Ansa.

"Only one arch remains of the bridge today, but in the period between 1501 and 1503 the bridge was functioning and it was very busy, as shown by a document on the state of assets on Medici family properties, found in the State archives of Florence".

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People have previously suggested that the bridge was the Ponte Buriano on the Arno river, or the Ponte Vecchio in Bobbio. However, the Ponte di Valle has four arches, making it a better fit than the others which have six or more. According to Vinceti, the scenery matches too.

"The distinctive form of the Arno along that stretch of territory corresponds to what Leonardo portrayed in the landscape to the left of the noblewoman depicted in the famous painting."

You learn something new every day.

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