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Basilicata: Looking for the Leonardo da Vinci’s self portrait

Slow Tour in Southern Italy: Lagonegro and Vaglio villages

Here we are in Basilicata region, to investigate a mistery about Leonardo da Vinci and his Gioconda!

First, Lagonegro village. Here is where Mona Lisa died and was buried in the Sixteenth Century, they say. Let’s visit St Nicholas’ crypt.

Then we go to Vaglio, where you find a unique painting at the local museum: a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci that would be a self-portrait! Nicola Barbatelli – the man who found and analyzed it – is pretty sure.

Listening to the whole story, one wonders what the relationship between Leonardo da Vinci and his Gioconda was…

Video full text: Leonardo self-portrait

We’re in Basilicata where a mystery awaits us about Leonardo Da Vinci and La Gioconda.
I’m taking you to Lagonegro to see where Mona Lisa may have died.
A Russian scholar, Merezkovskij, stated that La Gioconda, Leonardo’s famous Muse and the wife of Giocondo, a trader in these parts, fell ill during a trip with her husband and died here.
Gianni Glinni tells us about it.
(caption: Gianni Glinni – writer)
Hello! How lovely to see you!
Yes, we’re back here in Lagonegro!
Let’s imagine a scene from a film. She feels unwell because of a fever. Could it be malaria?
Or the plague!
The scenes that follow are of a small procession of people dressed in black and a coffin containing the dead Mona Lisa, waiting to be buried in the church of San Nicola.
And the crypt is here.
Oh my goodness!
This crypt opening is like something out of a horror story!
It’s opening.
It seems that some mummies were also found in this church.
These included a woman bedecked in jewels.
Did she have blonde or dark hair?
So she could have been La Gioconda!
Imagine that, Mona Lisa eluded us…
But there’s another interesting story, because around these parts a self-portrait was found, purportedly of Leonardo Da Vinci.
The mystery of Leonardo and his beloved Gioconda is increasingly intriguing.
Let’s go to Vaglio.
It’s incredible to think that there may possibly be a self-portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci!
Imagine if it were true…
He carried the portrait of La Gioconda around with him his entire life, right up to his death.
And she carried his self-portrait around with her until her death, here in Lagonegro.
Just like photos in a wallet!
Here’s the famous possible self-portrait of Leonardo, at the museum of Vaglio.
Nicola Barbatelli, who found it, shows it to us.
Here it is.
The strange thing is that there is also an inscription on the back of the painting, written in mirror writing. It reads “PINXIT MEA”.
“My self-portrait” in mirror writing as Leonardo used to do.
(Caption: Nicola Barbatelli – Museum of the Ancient Peoples of Lucania)
So therefore, it’s a dedication!
What really intrigues me is this exchange of paintings between Leonardo and La Gioconda, who died in Lagonegro clutching the self-portrait of her beloved Leonardo, “Leo”, close to her bosom.
In effect, those two were exchanging their portraits like young people exchange selfies today.
It’s a truly beautiful story, a lovely cartoon strip, a wonderful photo story…
Of course.
Ciao Leo!

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