OK - I was having a bit of a read on some of the more famous women portrayed in art when I came across this reference to the Mona Lisa
In Ian Guthridge's book "Great Women in Hisotry & Art" he says that:
The name "Mona Lisa
" is simply an abbreviation of "Madonna (mi-lady) Elizabeth". She is also referred to as "La Gioconda" as she was the second wife of Francesco del Giocondo. She was 24yo when Leonardo painted her - and to "chase away the melancholy that painters usually giver to their portraits", Leonardo kept her amused with musicians and jesters. And the result was "a smile so pleasing that it seemed divine rather than human".
Guthridge himself takes this story from Vasari's "Lives of the Artists".
So, being that she was married at the time her portrait was done, it may well be conceivable (no pun intended) that she was pregnant.
Edited by Melisende, 22 January 2007 - 03:46 AM.