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Isr Med Assoc J. 2004 Aug;6(8):505-6.

Xanthelasma and lipoma in Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, University Hospitals, KU Leuven, Belgium. jan.dequeker@med.kuleuven.ac.be

Abstract

The painting Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Paris, by Leonardo da Vinci (1503-1506), shows skin alterations at the inner end of the left upper eyelid similar to xanthelasma, and a swelling of the dorsum of the right hand suggestive of a subcutaneous lipoma. These findings in a 25-30 year old woman, who died at the age of 37, may be indicative of essential hyperlipidemia, a strong risk factor for ischemic heart disease in middle age. As far as is known, this portrait of Mona Lisa painted in 1506 is the first evidence that xanthelasma and lipoma were prevalent in the sixteenth century, long before the first description by Addison and Gall in 1851.

PMID:
15326839
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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