Interviewed by Mona Lisa

Well, not exactly, but I got your attention! Mona Lisa never lived in Venice or was a gondolier, but she was a Beautiful Woman, so I guess the topic fits in my blog.


I was actually interviewed by the AUTHOR of Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered, Dianne Hales. Turns out we live only a couple hours away from each other, and she’s working on a new book about passion–in all the raucous forms it takes. A mutual friend disclosed the secret that I’m absurdly passionate about Venice, so Dianne and I met at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco and had a lovely conversation. I’m confident that Dianne can make something interesting of my inane gushing.

But back to Mona Lisa. I recently finished reading Dianne’s book and thoroughly enjoyed being transported to a Renaissance Italian city other than Venice. Dianne includes not only the information she unearths about Mona Lisa’s family and Leonardo Da Vinci’s life, but she also recounts her own journey, which included dangerous forays to Tuscan villas and perilous glasses of wine. I posted a review on Amazon and Goodreads if you’d like to check it out. Mona Lisa review


Next I’m dipping a toe into Dianne’s earlier book La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language. Her writing style is so seamless and fun to read, and I look forward to this next literary adventure.

(Thanks to this Pinterest site for the Mona Lisa on a gondola pic:ɽọω-ƴọʊґ-ɓọąᎿ/)



About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
This entry was posted in A Beautiful Woman in Venice, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Interviewed by Mona Lisa

  1. I’ve not read the book above but I have read Mona Lisa by Donald Sassoon which is a rip roaring – non fiction – account of the various forces that conspired to make the painting what it is today – the slow building cult of Leonardo himself, the 19th century idea of the femme fatale and of course, the theft. It’s very interesting on numerous levels.
    An interesting guide of how it was valued – artistically, culturally and financially – is that in a 1849 Louvre catalogue listing before all these mysterious forces came together – it was valued at a mere 90,000 francs. (A comfortable middle class home in Paris at the time cost around 50,000 francs.) Other works at the time – admittedly by Raphael and Titian – were in the 500,000 mark.
    For a long time it was not viewed as a jewel in the Louvre crown at all. Regardless of what you think of it as an artwork (and even if you’re not interested in art) – it’s journey to how it is viewed now is one worth reading.

    • Very interesting! Dianne Hales covers some of that in her final chapter, but most of the book recreates Renaissance Florence, the milieu in which the artist and his model lived.
      So crazy how art is valued!

  2. Nancy Schwalen says:

    Oh, goodie! Another then he k to add a o my ever -growing stack. And I am not being sarcastic.

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