The 500-year-old Renaissance masterpiece has long puzzled art historians, from Mona Lisa’s wry smile to the identity of the woman in the painting. Some believe it is Da Vinci himself, painted as a woman.
As for Da Vinci, he was a fan of riddles and secret codes and his paintings formed the basis of the best selling fictional work “The Da Vinci Code.”
The book by Dan Brown and the 2006 movie based on it starring Tom Hanks claimed the Mona Lisa contained secrets about the life of Jesus Christ.
The book postulated that Christ had a child with Mary Magadelene and established a blood line that exists to this day.
The real codes in Mona Lisa’s eyes may not be quite so consequential, but they are mystifying, nonetheless, not only for what they may mean, but also because of that fact that Da Vinci was able paint them so small.
The letters and numbers cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage said the symbols were detected through high resolution images of the painting.
“To the naked eye the symbols are not visible, but with a magnifying glass they can clearly be seen,” said Committee President Silvano Vinceti.
“In the right eye appear to be the letters LV which could well stand for his name Leonardo Da Vinci, while in the left eye there are also symbols, but they are not as defined,” he said.
“It is very difficult to make them out clearly but they appear to be the letters CE or it could be the letter B. You have to remember the picture is almost 500 years old so it is not as sharp and clear as when first painted,” he added.
In the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 can be seen or it could be an L and the number 2, he said.
The clue to the codes was found in a 50-year-old book about the painting that was discovered in an antique shop. It mentions the codes and symbols, Vinceti said.
“It’s remarkable that no-one has noticed these symbols before and from the preliminary investigations we have carried out we are confident they are not a mistake and were put there by the artist,” Vinceti said.