The famous Mona Lisa painting is getting ready to have another close-up but this time on the molecular level because Italian investigators are close to starting DNA tests on bones which they believe might to Lisa Gherardini. She was a Florentine woman whom is thought to have been the actual model and true identity for Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait. In a few months there could be some of the soundest proof ever found which reveals the identity of the lady with the secretive smile. Gherardini, who became known as Lisa del Giocondo after she was married in 1495 to a silk merchant named Francesco di Zanobi del Giocondo, was believed to have died inside a convent about 1550.
Italian historian Silvano Vinceti is the lead in charge of handling the DNA tests on the skeleton believed to be Lisa del Giocondo’s. Vinceti and his group are planning to examine bone samples from a skeleton located at the convent and match them to DNA from bones of some of del Giocondo’s established relatives. They are entombed at the Basilica Annuziata. If there ends up being a positive match, Vinceti is going to use the skeleton’s skull at the convent to produce a computer made restoration of her face, and then see how it ends up comparing with da Vinci’s masterpiece.
Vinceti was coy about the identify and stated that if they did not find out who the Mona Lisa really was, art historians could continue to spend their lives wondering who the model truly was. He added that the completed DNA test results should be ready by June of this year at the latest.
Lisa del Giocondo was believed to have sat for the painting sometime between 1502 and 1505. Notes which were taken by a Florentine official authorized that da Vinci was creating a portrait of her at that time period. Her husband was believed to have ordered the painting in order to either celebrate the conception or birth of the second child of the couple. But da Vinci never supplied the painting to Lisa’s husband and instead focused on more valuable assignments. The painter ended up taking it with him as he traveled and was supposedly working on it even up to the year 1517.
Mona Lisa’s puzzling smile and stance have stirred numerous theories down through the centuries. Some have stated that her teeth were either missing or totally black because she was treated for syphilis with mercury. She was also rumored to have suffered from some sort of palsy which caused her to have large hands and numbed her face. Theorists also have given the idea that there were other models for the painting such as an unknown Italian noblewoman, one of the painter’s male lovers hidden in camouflage or even possibly a female self-portrait version of da Vinci himself.
Vinceti has been one who likened some parts of Mona Lisa’s appearance to Salai, who was da Vinci’s trainee and also rumored lover. He was one of Leonardo’s favorite models, stated Vinceti. The painter could have inserted certain characteristics of Salai in the last version of the Mona Lisa that he did.
So even if the convent skull is a match to the Mona Lisa painting, there will continue to be mysteries around the painting and its concealed meanings. It should be read at different levels, not just as a portrait, declared Vinceti. He is excited about the DNA testing on the Mona Lisa painting. Vinceti and his team of Italian investigators are close to starting the tests on bones which they believe might to Lisa Gherardini, a Florentine woman whom is thought to have been the actual model for Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait.
By Kimberly Ruble