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Mona Lisa: The People and the Painting

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Martin kemp
Martin Kemp

Art, Architecture and Design

Martin Kemp

£6 - £12


Event duration: 1 hour

Location: Blenheim Palace: The Marlborough Room

One of the world’s leading experts on Leonardo da Vinci Professor Martin Kemp sheds new light on the iconic painting Mona Lisa through previously undiscovered revelations about the life of the artist and the people behind the paintings.

Kemp joined forces with Florentine economics teacher and researcher of the histories of the del Giocondo and da Vinci families Dr Giuseppe Pallanti to reveal new secrets about the world’s most famous painting. Among the revelations are Leonardo’s mother was a poor and vulnerable orphan called Caterina di Meo Lippi; the husband of the portrait’s sitter, Lisa del Giocondo, was a trader in sugar, leather, property, money and slaves; and details of Lisa’s life as wife and mother, her association with sex scandals, and her later life in a convent. Kemp cuts through the myths to explain that the portrait grew out or real lives in a real place at a real time.

Kemp is emeritus professor of the history of art at Trinity College, Oxford. He has written extensively on the life and work of Leonardo including Leonardo da Vinci: The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man and Leonardo. He is also author of Christ to Coke: How Image Becomes Icon.

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