The Mona Lisa herself is the focus of the revered painting created by the artist Leonardo da Vinci. Her skillfully sculpted face and mysterious smile are rather captivating, so it’s understandable if you’ve never paid close attention to what’s behind her.
The background of the famous painting includes hills, valleys, mountains, a river, and a bridge. Experts have long debated over whether the countryside landscape depicted in the artwork is a figment of the artist’s imagination or a real place.
Recently, an Italian art historian has claimed to have determined the bridge in the painting’s backdrop to be none other than the Romito di Laterina bridge in Arezzo, a province in Tuscany.
Silvano Vinceti, the historian who made the discovery, utilized drone images and historical documents to come to his conclusion.
In the past, theories circulated that the bridge in the Mona Lisa might be the Ponte Buriano or Ponte Bobbio. However, after comparing the separate areas with the painting, Silvano ruled out the possibilities.
The detail that confirmed the bridge to be the Romito de Laterina was the number of arches. In the painting, the bridge has a total of four arches.
Today, the Romito only has one, but it used to have four, while the other two bridges have more than four.
According to historical documents belonging to the Medici family, an influential banking dynasty, the Romito de Laterina saw a lot of activity between 1501 and 1503. Leonardo is believed to have started creating the Mona Lisa around 1503 and is known to have traveled through that area.
In addition, Silvano argued that Leonardo is most recognized for his realism in his paintings. So it’s unlikely that the bridge came from his imagination.