Leonardo da Vinci – A talented artist.
Mr del Giocondo – A successful businessman. Lisa del Giocondo – A woman in her 20s who is bored and craving attention from her husband.
Set in 1503, Florence, Italy, in Leonardo da Vinci’s studio.
Note: there are times where sleight of hand is used to reveal additions to artwork. The secrets to achieving this are very easy. Details will be explained upon purchase of script. All artwork files can be supplied.
Editor's Note: This is the original script, as shared by the author.
Leonardo is sketching his famous Vitruvian Man using pen and paper.
There's a knock on the door. He places the sketch onto an artist’s easel and answers the door.
Francisco del Giocondo and his wife, Lisa enter. Francisco is eating an apple. Lisa is dressed similar to the Mona Lisa painting.
Leonardo Oh good afternoon Mr del Giocondo. (Goes to shake his hand).
Mr del Giocondo Oh please, Leonardo, call me “sir!” (Places his apple into Leonardo’s hand). Oh, and this is my dear wife, Mrs del Giocondo.
Leonardo Please to meet you, madam.
Lisa Oh, please call me, Lisa.
(Leonardo goes to shake her hand, while still holding the apple in his right hand. Lisa steps back).
Lisa Ooh no, I may be contagious… I think I’m coming down with pleurisy!
Leonardo Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that, madam… Lisa. (To Mr del Giocondo) Please come into my humble abode.
Mr del Giocondo …Of course. (He walks over to the sketch. Lisa follows him).
Lisa (Appears shocked as she looks at the picture). Oh! It's very warm in here, dear. You know I have sensitive glands. (Steps away and appears to look into a mirror) Oh no, what if I catch Sweating Sickness?
Mr del Giocondo You'll be fine. (Closely observing the sketch). Wow Leonardo, this is absolutely, quite… ugly!
Mr del Giocondo Well, the poor fellow has four arms and legs!
Leonardo No, it's just one man, you know, with his arms like… (moves his arms). I call it… (Dramatically) “The Vitruvian Man.” It shows the… divine proportions.
Lisa Is it a self portrait?
Lisa You forgot to draw in his willy!
Mr del Giocondo Oh! She’s right you know. (Concerned) The painting you're doing of Lisa won't look like this will it?
Leonardo Ha, trust me Mr del… sir, I'm sure I will achieve a very good likeness.
(Mr del Giocondo looks shocked. He grabs Leonardo and pulls him aside. Lisa goes up to the sketch and stares at it thoughtfully).
Mr del Giocondo Leo, my good man… Anybody can paint a… “likeness!” No, I want you to show her… Inner beauty. You know, she used to have such a smiley face… now look at her!
(They look back across to Lisa. She looks a little sad as she inspects her hands).
Mr del Giocondo I want something… timeless. None of this mamby, pamby “Renaissance” stuff... I'm sure it won't be a problem for a… “master,” like yourself. (Pats him on the back).
(Lisa picks up a pen and adds to the sketch).
Mr del Giocondo Look, I've got some silk merchant business to take care of. Boring, boring… you know how it is! I'll leave you to it then.
(Mr del Giocondo walks over to Lisa).
Mr del Giocondo Bye, my little “smiley.”
Lisa You can't leave! I'm… I'm getting a migraine.
Mr del Giocondo Good for you dear.
Lisa (Whispering and concerned). But, what if he, you know… tries to take advantage of me?
Mr del Giocondo (Laughing) Ha! I don't think we need to worry about that.
(They both look across at Leonardo who appears to be admiring himself in a mirror).
Look, I shall return before you can say… Septicemic Influenza! …Arrivederci. (He exits).
(Leonardo looks across and sees Lisa adding to his sketch. He rushes over).
Leonardo Argh, don't touch my sketch. Put the pen down. Madam, step away from the artwork. (Looks at the sketch, then appears mortified). You drew in his penis!
Lisa I think I’ve got in the right place… haven’t I?
Leonardo Well, you shouldn’t touch other men’s… doodles. And anyway, women cannot draw!
Lisa Why not?
Leonardo (Flustered) Well, because… because… Look, just because, alright. (Leonardo picks up the picture and places it on the table, then directs Lisa to the chair. Lisa appears in discomfort as he touches her). Now please Mrs del Giocondo, we need to get started. Now, I'd like you to just sit here, please… Lisa… Thank you.
(Leonardo shuffles her across to the chair, but Lisa dislikes being touched. She sits down).
Leonardo Right, now if I could just get you to… (He moves her gently into position).
Lisa (Fake pain) Yeow! I have very delicate bones… you know, I think I may have osteoporosis.
Leonardo Oh, sorry. Um, and turn your head this… (He moves her head gently).
Lisa Argh! I'm too young to be cursed with… with arthritis… and… and… leprosy.
Lisa Without doubt. Just look at my tongue! (Opens her mouth and pokes out her tongue).
Leonardo Indeed. And just… a little more (He doesn't want to touch her). Good. And your hands, like this…
Lisa Like this?
Leonardo No, like this…
(Lisa tries to cup her hands, but Leonardo is not liking it).
Leonardo (Hands Lisa the apple) Here, hold this… perfect!
(Lisa is locked in the pose. As Leonardo turns away to pick up a brush and palette, Lisa stands up and walks to the front).
Lisa You know these will probably bring on my Sinusitis! My husband says you're a great painter.
Leonardo (Realising that she's moved). Please, Mrs… Lisa. You need to sit down… here… And not move.
(As Lisa goes to sit down again, Leonardo hands her the blank canvas then rotates the artist easel to face away from the audience. He then takes the canvas back off Lisa (Which has been swapped to the final painting). She sits back down and assumes the pose. She begins juggling the apple in her hands).
Lisa Our home could do with a good coat of paint.
Leonardo Ha, I'm not that kind of painter… A portrait painter. You know… Faces of kings and queens and popes and… (The apple flies out of Lisa's hands and is caught by Leonardo) …Jesus Christ! Look, Mrs Del Giocondo...
Leonardo Mrs Lisa, I need you to sit and do… (Firmly) nothing.
Lisa Loud noises bring on my Tonsillitis.
Lisa …Or was it Tinnitus?
(Leonardo begins applying brush strokes. Note – the canvas is not seen by the audience).
(After a few moments, Lisa speaks).
Lisa Are you finished yet?
(Leonardo ignores her and continues painting).
Lisa Have you finished yet?
(Leonardo continues painting).
Lisa Have you…
Leonardo …Moan, moan, moan… it’s a wonder people don’t call you, “Moaner Lisa!”
Lisa (Disapproving) Huh! I'm a very sick woman, you know. (Dramatically places her hands on her chest) Oh, I'm think I'm having another heart attack.
Leonardo Look, I'm trying to paint your mouth, so if you could just… refrain from talking.
Lisa I think my heart’s stop beating.
Lisa (Dramatically) I'm about to drop dead… any… second… now…
Lisa (Shocked by his reply, Lisa holds her breath and puffs out her cheeks).
(Leonardo ignores at her and continues painting).
Lisa (After a dramatic pause) Porrrr. (Let's out her air and takes a big breath).
(Leonardo looks at her, shakes his head and continues painting).
Lisa (A few moments later) Have you finished yet?
(Leonardo ignores her).
Lisa You're not married are you?
Leonardo (Leonardo stops painting) What do you mean? I mean, how can you tell?
Lisa Well, look at this place… It's filthy.
Leonardo No it's not.
Lisa There's filthy sketches of naked men everywhere!
Leonardo (Tries to justify himslelf) Well, maybe they're figure studies for paintings and statues.
Lisa Ha! You're good friends with that Michelangelo aren't you? He likes naked men too.
(There's a knock on the door, and Mr del Giocondo enters).
Leonardo Ar, good timing.
Mr del Giocondo So, how did we get on?
Leonardo Almost done (Leonardo turns the easel and painting to face the audience).
Mr del Giocondo (Surprised) Oh!
Leonardo I feel I've captured her… um, “beauty,” very well.
Mr del Giocondo (Reveals painting to the audience by placing it on the opposite side of the easel, showing a perfect reproduction of the Mona Lisa). Dear Leonardo… this is really quite… quite… I’m almost lost for words… It's… horrible!
Mr del Giocondo Mmm. Look, this is just another… boring portrait. Where's the… inner beauty?
Leonardo What about the smile?
Mr del Giocondo That's not a smile. Here I'll show you what a smile looks like…
(He picks up a brush and is about to begin painting).
Leonardo (Quickly grabs the brush out of his hand). Please, Mr del… sir.
Lisa Can I have a look?
Mr del Giocondo No dear, it’s… it’s horrible.
Lisa Oh! You know he almost made me suffocate myself!
Leonardo I did no such...
Mr del Giocondo …Now, now… stop your moaning Lisa. You just stay where you are.
Leonardo So, you’d like me to change the smile?
Mr del Giocondo Goodness me no… I want you to change the hair as well… and the background.
Leonardo (Hopefully) But you like the nose?
Mr del Giocondo (Stares at the painting thoughtfully for a moment) Hmm… maybe if you… get rid of the nose... And lose the hands too.
Leonardo But, that’s a whole new painting!
Mr del Giocondo Brilliant idea! But with, you know, more… (Tries to find the right word and gestures with his hand) ...WHAA, and less… (Tries to find the right word again) …you know, blah!
Leonardo (Confused) Blah!
Mr del Giocondo Exactly! Look, I've got another meeting. You know, I think I've found a way to print images onto fabric. With the right design, (Appears to look at himself in the mirror) we'll make millions. Ha, Lisa thinks in the future, everyone will have pictures on their outer garments… She's full of crazy ideas! (Speaks to Lisa) Isn't that right dear?
Lisa(Inspecting her hands) Huh? I think I’m getting Small Pox!
Mr del Giocondo That's a good girl. I'll be back before you can say... “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”
(Mr del Giocondo exits).
Leonardo He hates it! It’s a very good likeness, and he hates it!
(Lisa rushes over to the painting. She is indifferent about it).
Lisa You know, Leonardo… why does every painting need to always look so perfect? Why can't a person be just made up of, I don’t know… simple lines, or stick shapes?
Leonardo (Chuckling) A “stick” man! That's childish. It not how an “artiste” portrays the world!
Lisa But it's still “art” isn't it?
Leonardo Most definitely not.
Lisa (Takes the brush out of Leonardo’s hand). I have something to confess… I’m not really sick.
Leonardo (Sarcastically) Oh really! (Rotates the artist easel away from the audience and replaces the canvas with what seems to be another blank one (It actually has another painting on it).
Lisa It’s just that… I’m soooo bored! You know, the only time I really feel alive, is when I paint.
Leonardo Women can not paint!
Lisa (Sternly) Why not?
Leonardo Well… They don't have the… um… They just not designed to… um… It's just not done! Leonardo sits down on the chair).
Leonardo I don't know… For the same reason man can't fly, I suppose!
Lisa I wish I could fly. I would build a large… (Draws a shape with her hands) ...A large… swirly, helix spiral shape, and make it, you know… “chop, chop, chop” through the air?
Leonardo (Excited) A helix–chopper! It could almost work! (He picks up a pad of paper from the table and begins sketching, unaware of Lisa’s location). It would need some supports… And light materials.
(Lisa walks over to the canvas and begins painting).
Leonardo It would be… amazing… (He shows Lisa his sketch). No, it would be… far too dangerous! What if you lost control? What if you fell out… you'd plummet to the ground like a fallen angel!
Lisa I don't know, maybe you could use a large… parasol umbrella that could, you know, gently “shoot” you to the ground.
(Leonardo looks inspired and begins sketching on another sheet of paper. Lisa continues painting).
Leonardo A parasol-shoot! Maybe with ropes tied to you, and a large silk canopy. You could jump off castles… And cliffs… And helix-choppers. Like this.
(He shows her a sketch of a parachute design).
Lisa Ha, you just drew a stick-man!
Leonardo No I didn’t… (He looks at his sketch) Oh, yes I did!
(Leonardo is just about to sit in the chair when Mr del Giocondo’s voice is heard off stage).
Mr del Giocondo Surprise!
(Leonardo jumps to attention. Lisa quickly hands him the brush as she sits down on the chair. Mr del Giocondo enters).
Mr del Giocondo (Walks over to Lisa) Oh Lisa, are you okay? You look quite flushed!
Lisa I feel… I feel… (Glowing) …quite alive actually.
Leonardo I'm sorry Mr del Giocondo, sir… I just couldn’t…
Mr del Giocondo (Stands in front of the painting. Disappointed) Oh!
Leonardo I just wasn’t sure what you…
Mr del Giocondo …Oh dear God… This thing is utterly…
Leonardo …I'm sor…
Mr del Giocondo ...Shut up! This… “thing”… (Mr del Giocondo rotates the artist’s easel and canvas towards the audience to reveal a “Smiley Face.”) …is a… masterpiece! I love it. It's captured Lisa’s inner beauty perfectly! And just look at that smile… Now that's how you paint a smile.
Leonardo (Shocked) Err… Actually, it was…
Mr del Giocondo …A masterpiece!
Lisa (Walks over to her husband) Do you like it dear?
Mr del Giocondo (Picks up the painting). A perfect likeness! Come on Lisa, let's not take up any more of Mr da Vinci’s time.
(Lisa takes the painting and holds up in front of her chest).
Lisa You know… it might look quite good on a shirt!
Mr del Diocondo (Enlightened gasp) Oh! A smiley face, on a top!
(Disappointed) But, I’ve got no one to paint them on!
Lisa (Excited, with her hands on his shoulder and chest) I could do it… I could paint them for you, please?
Mr del Diocondo (Concerned) But you’re so sick.
Lisa I think… I’m cured! (Excited) It's a miracle!
Mr del Diocondo (Looks across at Leonardo) Well, Mr da Vinci, it looks like you've created a masterpiece, and… (Looks dreamily at Lisa) …cured my wife… Bless you, good sir. Bl… (Lisa pinches him on the bum) … Oh!
(Mr del Giocondo and Lisa stare romantically into each other’s eyes and are about to kiss, until snap out of it and being to leave arm in arm).
Mr del Diocondo Come on my darling, let us depart.
Lisa (Looking back at Leonardo) Have a nice day!
Mr del Giocondo Ooh, that would make a good slogan!
(Mr del Diocondo and Lisa exit).
(Leonardo walks over to the Mona Lisa painting. He picks it up and places it on the audience side of the easel.
He stares at it for a moment. He then walks to the table, picks up a brush and palette.
He stands in front of the painting and appears to quickly paint over a section.
He steps away to reveal a Mona Lisa painting with a crude “Smiley Face” covering the facial features.
He places the brush and palette on the table, picks up apple.
He stares at it again for another moment before shaking his head).
Leonardo Have a nice day?
(He takes a bit of the apple and exits the stage).