An Italian art historian claims to have identified the bridge in the background of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, solving the mystery of where it was painted.
Silvano Vinceti, who worked on the project with the Le Rocca cultural association, looked at newly discovered historical documents and compared the current landscape with the painting using a drone. Vinceti now believes the bridge to be one in Tuscany.
"It is the Romito Etruscan-Roman bridge, also known as Ponte di Valle, located in the municipality of Laterina in the province of Arezzo," Vinceti told Italian publication Ansa.
"Only one arch remains of the bridge today, but in the period between 1501 and 1503 the bridge was functioning and it was very busy, as shown by a document on the state of assets on Medici family properties, found in the State archives of Florence".
People have suggested previously that the bridge seen in the Mona Lisa was the Ponte Buriano on the Arno river, or the Ponte Vecchio in Bobbio. However, the Ponte di Valle has four arches, making it a better fit than the others which have six or more. According to Vinceti, the scenery matches too.
"The distinctive form of the Arno along that stretch of territory corresponds to what Leonardo portrayed in the landscape to the left of the noblewoman depicted in the famous painting."
Though mostly collapsed now, the bridge served as a shortcut between Arezzo, Fiesole, and Florence. Documents examined by Vinceti show that da Vinci often resided in Fiesole with his uncle, a priest named Amadori or Amadoro.
Now to figure out what that smile was about.