Mona Lisa Pregnant?

Mona Lisa holds our gaze.

The mystery of her private smile compels us to wonder.
We are drawn to an essence older by far than Leonardo da Vinci’s
sixteenth century painting.

In 1977, early in my work with women and birth,
I photographed Linda, a friend and wonderful midwife.
I asked Linda to look into the lens with who she knew to be.

Linda looked out from herself,
with the beauty and wisdom of her pregnancy.

Sometime later I was doing a slide presentation (remember slides and film)
for a childbirth class. Looking at this photograph projected on the screen,
I suddenly saw Mona Lisa!

Mona Lisa was pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I proclaimed to the audience,
excited and deeply certain of this new insight that also felt very old.

Linda and Mona Lisa share an exquisite expression, reflecting women’s
ancient power and grace of holding life in their wombs. Women pregnant
with the mystery of creation. Their graceful hands resting lightly
on this mystery.

I continued speaking about Mona Lisa being pregnant in classes
and presentations. My sons grew up  listening to me talk this talk.
In 1987 I published an article Mona Lisa Was Pregnant,  in Midwifery Today.

Several years ago my oldest son John who is an anthropologist,
sent me a link to research on Mona Lisa conducted at the Louvre
in 2004. High grade scans  revealed that details of the veil or shawl
Mona Lisa wore in the portrait indicated it was “a garment women
of the Italian Renaissance wore when they were expecting,”
a leading French museum researcher, Michael Menu said.
These scans are in the book Mona Lisa: Inside the Painting
published in 2006.

Linda chose a shawl for her pregnancy portrait without knowing Mona Lisa wore a similar shawl 500 years ago. How ancient we are.

I love seeing  Mona Lisa’s expression on faces of pregnant women.mona lisas

Do you?
Let me know!





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