Does a medical condition explain the Mona Lisa's enigma?

She's famous for her enigmatic smile, but could the subject of the Mona Lisa's distinctive look be due to a simple medical condition?

That's what two doctors have claimed in a letter to a medical journal, suggesting that Lisa Gherardini could have been suffering from hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland.

"The enigma of the Mona Lisa can be resolved by a simple medical diagnosis of a hypothyroidism-related illness," wrote Dr. Mandeep Mehra, medical director of the Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and his co-author, Hilary Campbell, an executive assistant at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

"In many ways, it is the allure of the imperfections of disease that give this masterpiece its mysterious reality and charm."

They base their thesis on symptoms observed in the painting - including skin lesions and swelling in Gherardini's right hand.

Source: Live Science

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