The Holmes-Adie Syndrome in the Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

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Deivis de Campos
Danielle Coutinho Rodrigues
Luciano Buso


Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, Holmes-Adie Syndrome, Thyroid.


The literature describes that the renowned artwork of the genius of human anatomy, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), known as Mona Lisa (1503-1506), is among one of the most enigmatic artworks in the History of Art. In this context, many details inserted on the composition of this artwork, including those related to Mona Lisa physical aspects' (anatomy) are controversial. The few known descriptions that provide some thorough indications about the woman who served as the model for this work, were written by Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) in 1550. According to Vasari, the Mona Lisa is a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo (1479-1542) and although he has given a detailed description concerning Lisa’s physical characteristics, some are not fully understood so far. In this context, the unequal size of her pupils stands out, a clinical condition known as anisocoria. On this detail, this Letter presents unprecedented pieces of evidence that the anisocoria represented in Mona Lisa may be an indicator that Lisa del Giocondo had a neurological disorder known as Holmes-Adie Syndrome, which could have been caused by an endocrine disruption of the thyroid hormones. Thus, the pieces of information presented on this Letter are essential for further studies once, through them, it is possible to know more about the physical characteristics and also about the probable health condition of the renowned character of one of the most famous artworks of history.


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