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Oh Those Mona Lisa Eyes: Do They Reveal More Than We Know?

I’m still in Britain, metaphorically speaking: Last week, the Daily Mail published an entertaining story about the Mona Lisa, stating that Leonardo implanted tiny numbers and letters in the eyes of La Gioconda — a real life da Vinci code — that may contain clues about the Holy Grail.

Reminds of the days when we (some of us, anyway) played the Beatles’ recording of Revolution backward to find out if Paul was dead…

MonaLisaEye.jpgThe new story has Silvano Vinceti, president of Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage, describing the symbols, which he said were invisible to the naked eye but clearly there when viewers deploy a magnifying glass.

In the right eye [at left] appear to be the letters LV which could well stand for his name, Leonardo da Vinci, while in the left eye there are also symbols but they are not as defined.

It is very difficult to make them out clearly but they appear to be the letters CE, or it could be the letter B.

In the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 can be seen or it could be an L and the number 2.

Vinceti insists that the marks are not accidental, but definitely placed there by Leonardo.

Da Vinci put a special emphasis on the Mona Lisa and we know that in the last years of his life he took the painting with him everywhere.

We also know that da Vinci was very esoteric and used symbols in his work to give out messages.

Who knows, they may even ­possibly be a love message to the ­figure in the painting.

(I do wish Vinceti would call the artist “Leonardo,” not da Vinci.)

Vinceti, the Daily Mail says, is also part of a group that wants to exhume Leonardo’s remains, so they can determine if the Mona Lisa is a self-portrait.

I’m definitely against the exhumation, and I’m a skeptic about the letters/numbers.

After all, Paul still isn’t dead…

If any Leonardo experts out there disagree, I would love to hear.

You can read the entire story here

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Daily Mail


  1. Has anybody tried playing The Spiral Jetty backwards on a turntable to see if it has any hidden messages?

  2. cecilia wong says:

    Leonardo was not alone.
    I know that the artist Sigmar Polke did embed bits of information in his paintings, just for fun.
    During the preview of the Sigmar Polke show in Tate Modern in 2003, I ran into Vicente Todoli (then director of Tate Modern) in the last gallery. I blurted out, “It looks like all he did was have fun in his studio!”
    To my (and my companion’s) surprise, Todoli turned suddenly and darted towards a nearby picture, pretending to examine one part with a magnifying glass, and started laughing. He then explained to us that that was what Polke did during the installation of the show, when he (Polke) gleefully recalled the bits that he had encoded in the picture, magnifying glass in hand.
    Sadly Polke died June of this year. I don’t know if anyone knows what he actually hid in those pictures. For me I do not need to know. Artists should be allowed some secrets of their own.
    Unless of course, Leonardo had in Mona Lisa’s eye the answer to all our world’s problems, or the combination to his safe…


  1. […] Leonardo was not alone, if he did indeed hide some messages in his pictures. The late German modern artist Sigmar Polke did too, just for fun. And I found that out in a most extraordinary way. See my comment in this link. […]

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