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A diagnosis for Mona Lisa 8/15/2015 •

A diagnosis for Mona Lisa

Medical experts from all over the world try to detect the portraited woman's illnesses. For instance, doctors believe the secret of Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile is more than trivial - she was toothless!


The Mona Lisa or La Gioconda by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci is claimed to be the best-known work of art ever.

According to the most popular version, the painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco Del Giocondo. Mona Lisa is generally accepted to be pure perfection whose subtle enigmatic smile keeps fascinating people throughout centuries and generations. However, some specialists believe there is something amiss with the woman in the portrait as if she suffered from some illness or even a mental disorder. Here are the most astonishing opinions about La Gioconda's health condition expressed by various medical experts.

Smile. According to Joseph Borkowski, who is both an American fine art expert and a dentist, Mona Lisa lost many of her teeth. "Her smile and facial expression are characteristic of a person who has almost no front teeth!" says the expert. Joseph even managed to distinguish small scars around her mouth, which only proves the hypothesis.

Hands. Professor Jan Jacques Conte, a specialist in hand microsurgery, and Henry Greppo, an orthopaedist, are pretty sure that Mona Lisa's right hand does not simply rest on the other, but lies on it lifelessly. This may be a result of partial paralysis or perhaps because her right hand is considerably shorter than the left one.

Fingers. Finn Bekker-Christensen, a doctor from Denmark, has noticed La Gioconda's disproportioned fingers. He believes that together with her domed forehead it can serve as a sign of inborn idiocy. Finn also draws our attention to the fact that the right part of her face is smiling whereas the left part is obviously grimacing which may be regarded as a symptom of serious mental problems.

Skin. A tiny papule between the woman's left eye and nose shows that Lisa Gherardini was suffering from high blood cholesterol – a consequence of a metabolic disorder. This expert view was first shared by the Canadian doctor and historian Claude Chinpel.

Eyes. Clive Nice, an English ophthalmologist, supposes that Mona Lisa's eyes do not line up in the same direction. The condition is more commonly known as "crossed eyes."

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