Author Topic: Did Mona Lisa have high cholesterol, and is Newton’s apple story authentic?  (Read 5581 times)

Joe Carillo

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If this Italian medical expert is to be believed, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa must have suffered from high levels of cholesterol. This, at least, is how Vito Franco, pathological anatomy professor at the University of Palermo, interprets the glint in Mona Lisa’s eye, which he says is “the result of a build-up of fatty acids around her eye socket, a sure sign that she wasn’t watching her cholesterol.” What’s more, Prof. Franco says, he found that “not only aristocrats but also Madonnas, angels and mythical heroes—or at least the sitters [for some famous portraits]—revealed telltale signs of illness.”

These claims may forever remain as intelligent conjectures, of course, but the anecdote about Newton’s falling apple—reputed to be the inspiration for his famous Theory of Universal Gravitation—has been proven to be authentic. In fact, Britain’s Royal Society will soon post on the web a manuscript written by William Stukeley, a contemporary of Newton, recounting a spring afternoon in 1726 when Newton shared the story with him over tea “under the shade of some apple trees.” Stukeley wrote: “He told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind.”

Page from the manuscript of Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton by William
Stukeley, referring to the word "gravitation."

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« Last Edit: April 17, 2024, 04:21:43 PM by Joe Carillo »


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I have heard of many other stories attempting to explain the many strange features in Mona Lisa's portrait. Bells palsy  :-[and other muscle ailments could be the cuplrit. Da Vinci is also known to distort or remodel other people's features, and Mona Lisa could be non-existent but a mere reinvention of his mother. If you alter a picture and forget improving other features, inconsistencies like these happen. Nobody is perfect. It was hard to find a good model...actually, imperfections are great characteristics for masterpieces to last centuries  ::) No? Who can paint me ???? :D :D