Historical Events  Art
Mona Lisa

Never been known

Always been known


She's the subject of the most famous portrait in the world, but who was the subject of the Mona Lisa?

Many people remember this as being a big mystery, and are surprised to hear today all the reports of her being the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

Her name - Lisa del Giocondo - is even listed officially in the Louvre.

The idea of so many people remembering, and being sure of that memory, of no-one knowing who she was is being classed as a Mandela Effect, since that's exactly what's happening here.

La Gioconda

The painting is also known as La Giocondo. The word "Mona" appears because it is a commonly used Italian contraction of "My Lady". There are a few interesting facts regarding it, such as Napoleon keeping it in his bedroom for a while, the French passed a law forbidding it ever to be sold and there is a tiny "signature" in her right eye bearing the letters "LV". There is famously another Mandela Effect related to it being stolen, yet few people seem to remember this.Curiously, Da Vinci kept the painting for himself until his death in 1519, which is a contributing factor to the mystery surrounding it throughout the centuries.

The enigmatic smile/non-smile is also the subject of heated debate, with theories ranging from her having lost her two front teeth, or had blackened teeth, due to mercury treatment for syphilis right through to her having facial palsy which meant she really did walk round looking like that because of this.

Quite a fair bit is known about Gioconda, including her burial site. She was a mother of 5 children, was of an ordinary background and married in 1495 when she was 16. In fact it is now believed the painting itself was commissioned to mark the birth of her second child in 1502.

The Mandela Effect behind this is the typical "pas has changed" type, because many remember for years being told her identity was always unknown.