It’s all about perspective. For example,
the imaginery landscape behind
for Leonardo was the perfect contrast
to my reserved posture but, to me,
is theatrical and over-the-top.
He so desperately wanted my portrait
to depict ideal womanhood like
the Virgin Mary yet he painted
a frumpy plain Jane housewife.
Although I’m known as La Gioconda,
meaning jocund, I didn’t see the funny
side of that, nor the sitting for an eternity
on that rickety pozetto armchair.
There is a hint of a smile in the upturned
corners of my mouth and eyes but it’s no
laughing matter to be stared at constantly.
I never wanted to be famous.
You probably think I’m ungrateful and
should be called Moaner. You’d be right,
but I’m laughing on the other side of my
face now. As I said, it’s all about perspective.