In 2005, Lisa Gherardini was identified as the woman who (most probably) was the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

What was life like for Lisa? Why was she sitting for a portrait with Leonardo? What happened to the painting over the years? Why did it spend time in a royal bath house? Who put that layer of shellac on it (that’s why it has a¬†crackly appearance)? How did the painting make it through the French Revolution? Why was Napoleon in love with the Mona Lisa? Who stole the painting from the Louvre in 1911 and how was it returned?

So many questions!

Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered is the new book from journalist Dianne Hales. She answers all those questions and more!

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