David Ekserdjian

By Any Other Name

Picture Titles: How and Why Western Paintings Acquired Their Names

By Ruth Bernard Yeazell

Princeton University Press 331pp £24.95 order from our bookshop

On 21 April 1525, a notarial act was drawn up to divide the property of Gian Giacomo Caprotti di Oreno, best known to posterity as Salaì. Salaì, who was a particular favourite among the pupils and assistants of Leonardo da Vinci, had met a violent end in his native Milan the previous year. Among the paintings listed in the inventory of his possessions was a ‘Quadro dicto la Joconda dicto la honda’ (‘Painting called the Joconda called the honda’). Self-evidently, this was the picture we call the Mona Lisa, but which Italians and others refer to as the Gioconda, or by variants of that name. 

Donmar Warehouse


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • In all seriousness: good for them. Our bulbous award gets a bad rap every year; delighted for ER to give something else a go.,
    • Don't me ,
    • RT : Never got round to posting this - my piece on biog/memoir of wonderful in latest issue of ,
    • To celebrate Paul Beatty winning the Booker, here's our review of The Sellout, to read for free: ,
    • Thomas Hardy's phrenologist tells him he will 'lead to no good' in a new book about his life in London ,
    • John Knox said that crowning a woman was akin to putting ‘a saddle upon the back of an unruly cow’. Tell that to Catherine de'Medici...,
    • RT : I 💕💕 the Pulpit article in September's about rereading books at different times of life.,