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Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered (English Edition) di [Hales, Dianne]
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Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered (English Edition) Formato Kindle

5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente

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EUR 10,72

Lunghezza: 337 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Lingua: Inglese

Descrizione prodotto


"I’m enthralled by every page of Dianne Hales’s Mona Lisa. The mysteries of the painting remain, but through Hales’s portraits of the people and her skilled rendering of customs, politics, and daily habits of the time, you come to know the painting in profound new ways. The great pleasure of her prose brings Lisa Gheradini’s world to vivid life. Anyone who loves art and Italy—and who doesn’t—will adore this book." (Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun and Under Magnolia)

"This is cultural history that reads like a detective novel as Dianne Hales tracks down the real woman behind one of the world’s most famous and enigmatic faces. Expertly sleuthing her way through the treasure troves of archives and palazzos, she offers her own fascinating portrait not just of Lisa Gherardini but also of the vibrant Renaissance world that nurtured both Lisa and Leonardo’s painting." (Ross King, author of Brunelleschi's Dome and Leonardo and The Last Supper)

"Biography, history, and memoir are woven together in Hales' lyrical biography of Lisa Gherardini...her quest endows human subjectivity to one of art history's greatest icons." (Booklist)

"Engaging...a rich tapestry of family life, mercantile society, politics, and artistic development...enthralling." (BookPage)

"Veteran journalist Dianne Hales shares with us the tumultuous lives of both Gherardini and the artist who immortalized her, and brings us along on the travels of a work of art for which love and esteem have increased markedly over the centuries." (New York Post)

“A readable and affectionate my-search-for-story for art lovers and anyone interested in glorious and gory Florence in the 15th- to 16th centuries, and in the divine Leonardo in particular…Hales' assiduous research has made it possible for us to know Mona Lisa just a bit, enough to wonder if this otherwise ordinary Florentine housewife could ever have imagined her portrait enchanting millions for centuries.” (

“Now, thanks to meticulous research, Hales’ biography-memoir-history lesson brings to life Lisa Gherardini (1479-1542), the unforgettable face behind Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

"Combining history, whimsical biography, personal travelogue, and love letter to accessible, vivid examination of women's lives in Florence of the period....Entertaining." (Publishers Weekly)

"It's a joy to follow Dianne Hales' fascinating exploration into what's behind the world's most famous smile—an enchanting mix of fascinating history and passion-filled memoir." (Susan Van Allen, author of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go)


Everybody knows her smile, but no one knows her story: Meet the flesh-and-blood woman who became one of the most famous artistic subjects of all time—Mona Lisa.

A genius immortalized her. A French king paid a fortune for her. An emperor coveted her. Every year more than nine million visitors trek to view her portrait in the Louvre. Yet while everyone recognizes her smile, hardly anyone knows her story. “Combining history, whimsical biography, personal travelogue, and love letter to Italy...Mona Lisa is an entertaining” (Publishers Weekly) book of discovery about the world’s most recognized face. Who was she? Why did the most renowned painter of her time choose her as his model? What became of her? And why does her smile enchant us still?

Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua, became obsessed with finding the real Mona Lisa on repeated trips to Florence. In Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered, she takes readers with her to meet Lisa’s descendants; uncover her family’s long and colorful history; and explore the neighborhoods where she lived as a girl, a wife, and a mother. In the process, we can participate in Lisa’s daily rituals; understand her personal relationships; and see, hear, smell, and taste “her” Florence. Hales brings to life a time poised between the medieval and the modern, a vibrant city bursting into fullest bloom, and a culture that redefined the possibilities of man—and of woman.

Mona Lisa is “a readable and affectionate my-search-for-story for art lovers and anyone interested in glorious and gory Florence in the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries, and in the divine Leonardo in particular…Hales’s assiduous research has made it possible for us to know Mona Lisa just a bit, enough to wonder if this otherwise ordinary Florentine housewife could ever have imagined her portrait enchanting millions for centuries” (

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 6669 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 337
  • Numeri di pagina fonte ISBN: 1451658974
  • Editore: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edizione (5 agosto 2014)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B00HB62MDE
  • Da testo a voce: Non abilitato
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Abilitato
  • Miglioramenti tipografici: Non abilitato
  • Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #231.488 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Dianne Hayes is an excellant writer who can make reading this history entertaining as well as informative of the period of Leonardo Da Vinci, Florence and of course Mona Lisa. I really enjoyed her book "La Bella Lingua" and when I saw this book I had to order it immediately! A eccellant journey for those that love Italy,art, history and or just a very good read!
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) 4.2 su 5 stelle 64 recensioni
4 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle An entertaining way to view the Renaissance 16 novembre 2014
Di A reader - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
I was surprised to find this book so enjoyable. I picked it up on for a dollar, not expecting much, but found that I enjoyed the author's exploration of the lives of women in 15th-century Florence, and her way of relating that information to the life of Lisa Gherardini, the model for one of the world's most famous paintings: "Mona Lisa," by Leonardo da Vinci.

This is definitely not a book for scholars of Renaissance history or of Italian Renaissance art, who tend to turn up their noses as this kind of writing, dismissing it as nothing new and mere speculation. But for other readers, not experts in those fields, the book provides a great deal of interesting information. Yes, there are a lot of "might have's" and could have's" throughout, but the author makes no claims to uncovering sensational new material. Instead, she makes good use of what scholars have brought to light about women in Florence during (and before) the period when Lisa Gherardini was alive, and relating that to Lisa's life. She demonstrates effectively how Lisa "might have/could have" lived.

Readers who wouldn't necessarily pick up a book on Renaissance history or a scholarly biography of Leonardo will learn a lot about both the period and the painting. The book isn't great literature or brilliant scholarship, but it's not intended as either. It's an entertaining and enlightening look at a fascinating era, through the lens of a particular woman's life.
10 di 10 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle At last, the real Mona Lisa. 14 agosto 2014
Di Sal Prisco - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Dianne Hales brings Mona Lisa to life in a new study of her life and times.
This book is a triumph of research that should put to rest many of the
absurd theories of her life and the motivation of Da Vinci in painting
her. The reader may well experience both tears and smiles in finally
getting to know something concrete about one of the most
recognizable icons in human history. Brava Dianne!

Salvatore Prisco, Ph.D.
Prof. of History,
Stevens Institute of Technology
5.0 su 5 stelle Great Book 29 marzo 2017
Di Alex Solorzano - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I got this book to assist my 10 year old daughter on a "Faces of History" project she did through our homeschool community (Classical Conversations).

It was above her reading level and with some adult content (some just complicated stuff and some regarding sexual relationships of the time -mild content, just not stuff for 10 year olds). So I read sections that pertained to her report and through others to help find more information.

My daughter wrote on the main theme that there must have been something special about Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo if:
•her father would sell off some of his family pride (land) when they had so little left to their claim of nobiity/landed gentry to secure her marriage;
•if her husband married her with no dowry and just a small plot of land worth much less than a proper dowry;
•if Leonardo chose to paint her portrait while turning down the commissions of royalty
•If Leonardo's portrait of her has captivated people so greatly and for so long

The books is fascinating and I loved the ins and outs of the adventure Dianne Hales takes us on as we discover intimate details of Lisa's life and her time and place in history. It's what some would call "a living book" -such a refreshing break from the boring and dull accounts found in textbooks and most other reference books we could find.

I did not read it straight through, but plan to (soon). What I did read, through (at least half of it) was fantastic.

If you want information about the most likely woman of the famous portrait, want a great look at life in Florence in the mid 1500s to mid 1600s, or looking for just a good history and travel based read -get this book!
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle The author is as spellbinding and capable a storyteller as she is an historian. 1 aprile 2015
Di Lisa K. Taruschio - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
As a former New Yorker and an old Italy hand--I am a professional translator Italian>English, have lived in Italy for decades, and am a novelist myself (Kindle, Verdi's Dream), I can be quite harsh judging novels set in Italy, books about Italy from an often naive or starry-eyed foreigner's point of view, and books on Italian history (particularly on the Italian Renaissance,my favorite period). This book, which I came to quite serendipitously through a FB reference, just blew me away, however. It brings the glorious Italian Renaissance to life, from the personalities to the dress codes to the aromas and sometimes the stench of the vias and vicolos, to the unfathomable genius of Leonardo. Of course it is quite a task simply to get the research about Florence and its golden age right--which the author has done. I felt as though I were with her at every discovery, in every archive, in every courtyard of that incredible city. Some may think there is too much Italian in the book--but I love it, because instead of trying (and of course it would mean failure) to explain certain Italian terms, the author leaves them in context and we must fend for ourselves in context. This is as it should be, I think. All of this means that I come away from each reading (and I haven't finished the book yet and don't want to--then I will have to close this particular door on the Renaissance) knowing the Mona Lisa no better than before, but understanding better where she came from, what her life must have been, and the regard in which her genius portraitist held her. This is a completely lovely book, unpretentious and so knowledgable. The author is as spellbinding and capable a storyteller as she is an historian.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Mona Lisa: A Sheer Pleasure of a Read 20 novembre 2014
Di Sarah - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Another fine work by Dianne Hales. I'd read "La Bella Lingua" with great pleasure, as I'm a linguist and a speaker of Italian. If you're in to language, it's a must-read! "Mona Lisa" deftly weaves the lives of Leonardo da Vinci and Mona Lisa (largely extrapolated from bios of other women of the period) with the history of the Renaissance. A sheer pleasure of a read...
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