The Second Mrs. Gioconda : Review

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Book : The Second Mrs. Gioconda
Author : E.L. Konigsburg
Genre : Mystery
Published by : Simon and Schuster Children Publications
 Year : 1975

WHY,people ask,why did Leonardo da Vinci chose to paint the portrait of the second wife of an unimportant merchant when dukes and duchesses all over Italy and the King of France as well, were all begging him for a portrait by his hand? Why?

The book claims it 'lies' with  Salai-a petty thief, a shameless liar and the youngest apprentice in Leonardo's studio. 
It revolves around Leonardo, Salai and Beatrice- a young Duchess with a plain face and a beautiful soul. 
Other characters of II Moro - Beatrice 's husband and  duke, Isabella- Beatrice's elder sister, Cecila- II Moro's true love and 
the Renaissance life - a character in itself give beauty and depth to the author's interpretation of the historical events.
How Monalisa- the second wife of Mr. Gioconda came into picture and was turned into 'the' picture/portrait is the carefully wrapped up end of the book.
The book is short,beautifully written and is well paced.Though its target reader is the young adults, it is a pleasant read for all age groups. The author, E.L.Konigsburg(she passed away last year)is a noted writer for children who wrote from their perspective , generally after interacting with them. This quality of her,has rendered simplicity to the complex plot, illumination to the layered characters and  a connect to the people in the book in bare minimum words.

VERDICT : A good read.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes Uma, its certainly is though only 'why' is dealt in the book and not how and what happened during the painting of Mrs. Gioconda. Happy Reading :)

  2. Now that sounds truly intriguing!

    1. It is Mridula....but not as rich as one of your trips to Jordan and other such culturally rich places ;) Its quite simple but a good read. :)

  3. WOWWW......would love to read that..:-)

    1. Its good Issac but its marketed as children's literature so is quite simple :)

  4. The Monalisa has been a subject of mystery, Kokila.
    There are many theories & ideas about the painting. This book is yet another in the list of the several dealing with it with creativity & imagination :) Nice review!

    1. Yes Anita ... she certainly is one mysterious personality and the truth as always is elusive. You have correctly summed up the thing... :)

  5. Replies
    1. Oh God Nima! Apologies for a late reply...... And its definitely a good book and is marketed as a children's read :) Welcome to the space dear :)


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