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Bridge in background of Mona Lisa identified

Bridge in background of Mona Lisa identified

Earth pyramids of the landscape that inspired Leonardo found too

ROME, 03 May 2023, 12:44

Redazione ANSA




An Italian expert said Wednesday that a mystery regarding the Mona Lisa has been solved, as the bridge that Leonardo da Vinci depicted in the background has been identified as the Romito bridge in Laterina, in the province of Arezzo.
    Research coordinated by the historian Silvano Vinceti, who in the past has made several important discoveries about the most famous portrait in the world, seems to leave little doubt about a mystery that has been at the centre of countless disputes over the years.
    Among the previous theses that caused the commotion were those saying it was the medieval bridge in Bobbio, in the province of Piacenza, and a bridge in Buriano in the province of Arezzo.
    But this latest research - conducted thanks to the collaboration of the La Rocca cultural association and based on new historical documents and comparisons between current photographs and the painting - has made it possible to identify the real Mona Lisa bridge.
    "It is the Romito Etruscan-Roman bridge, also known as Ponte di Valle, located in the municipality of Laterina in the province of Arezzo," explained Vinceti.
    "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".
    It was precisely at that time that Leonardo was in the Val d'Arno area, first at the service of Cesare Borgia, known as the Valentino, and then for the gonfalonier of the Republic of Florence, Pier Soderini.
    The Romito bridge had four arches, resting on two cliffs, was part of a byway, or shortcut, that made it possible to shorten the journey between Arezzo, Fiesole and Florence by several kilometres.
    The Bobbio bridge, on the other hand, has more than six arches, and the one in Buriano has six.
    Furthermore, these structures are situated on flat ground.
    "There are several matches with the Romito bridge," stressed Vinceti.
    "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.
    "These matches emerged thanks to images taken from a drone which allowed us to highlight the presence of two cliffs on the left and right side of the Romito bridge and the sinuous course of the Arno, as depicted in the painting of the Mona Lisa".
    The virtual reconstruction of the bridge, created on the basis of the width of the Arno in the section where the Romito bridge is located, highlights a strong similarity with the bridge in the portrait.
    The same can be said for the shape and size of the four arches.
    "Significantly, there are also historical documents which certify that Leonardo often resided in Fiesole at that time, with an uncle who was a priest, named Amadori or Amadoro," added Vinceti, who is also President of The National Committee for the Enhancement of Historical, Cultural and Environmental Heritage.
    "The analysis of the images taken with the drone and of historical documents have also enabled us to identify, with a high level of probability, the landscape painted in the lower left part of the Mona Lisa.
    "That is to say the formation of bluffs, or earth pyramids, in the upper Val d'Arno area that inspired Leonardo.
    "And in this regard, some drawings of bluffs present in the Hammer Code (or Leicester Code), Leonardo's famous manuscript dating from between 1506 and 1510, are of fundamental importance."


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