LONDON: The Mona Lisa painting continues to throw up mysteries, as art experts now claim to have found a set of tiny letters painted into the eyes of the woman in the Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece.
The experts – from Italy’s National Cultural Heritage committee – discovered the mysterious hidden message while studying magnified images of the 500-year-old portrait.
“In the right eye appears to be the letters LV, which could well stand for his name. In the left eye, there are also symbols. It is difficult to make them out but they appear to be the letters C and E or B,” art historian Silvano Vinceti was quoted as saying by The Sun. “To the naked eye the symbols are not visible but with a magnifying glass they are clearly seen. We know Da Vinci used symbols so we are confident that they are a message from him,” he said.
The experts also found a 72, or an L and a 2, painted into a bridge in the background of the painting, which is in Paris’ Louvre museum. Vinceti said the letters B or S, or possibly the initials CE, were discernible, a vital clue to identifying the model who sat for the Renaissance artist. She has often been named as Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a Florentine merchant, but Vinceti disagreed, claiming Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa in Milan.
“On the back of the painting are the numbers ‘149’, with a fourth number erased, suggesting he painted it when he was in Milan in the 1490s, using as a model a woman from the court of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan,” Vinceti said, according to The Guardian.
They examined the Mona Lisa after finding a book in an antique shop that claimed there were tiny hidden symbols in the eyes.
“The question now is, what do they mean,” Vinceti said.