Lisa Gherardini? Is she "Mona Lisa"?
If you have been following my blog/book then you know that I don't think Lisa Gherardini was the model for the Mona Lisa.
Da Vinci left the painting untitled and it wasn't until he died and Vasari wrote a biography about him that the title "Mona Lisa was used".
Here's an excerpt from the older version of my book about the Title and sitter:
Taken From Discovering Da Vinci's Daughter
This is just one reason why the woman in the painting isn't Lisa Gherardini. In my book I give plenty more. I compare the other names the painting has gone by:
- "A Certain Florentine Lady"
- "A courtesan in gauze veil"
- "La Joconde"
- "Mona Lisa"
- "La Giaconda"
I will explain the significance to all of this later but for now just contemplate the coincidences:
Leonardo paints a portrait of a woman starting in 1503. At this time her identity is unknown since the first to say who it was didn’t assert anything until 30 years after Da Vinci’s death. There is a list of his paintings with the title “La Joconde” that describes a portrait of a woman that matches the painting. This is why Mona Lisa sometimes titled: La Joconde. Before Vasari said it was “Mona Lisa” the painting went by the names:;
“A courtesan in a gauze veil.”
Then after Da Vinci’s death and 30 years later Vasari wrote:“Leonardo undertook to execute, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife; and after toiling over it for four years, he left it unfinished; and the work is now in the collection of King Fraces of France, at Fontainebleau.” – Vasari
After this the painting goes by the title “Mona Lisa"
The alternative title “La Joconde” means “light hearted” in French. Jocund means “light hearted” in English.
Francesco del Giocondo’s last name: Giocondo in the feminine form- La Giocanda also means “light hearted Woman"
SO. La Jaconde -> La Gioconda -> Madam Lisa Giocondo = Mona Lisa The coincidence is that all these titles are related but from different sources. There is a little French/ Italian word play going on. This means that coincidentally the name on a piece of paper, the last name of the supposed sitter, and her expression- all happen to be related in a strange, complicated, coincidental way.. Mon Salai - "My Salai" in also in French. Da Vinci died while living with the King of France so it's more than possible for this to be intentional. He obviously knew french.. By the end of my book I should be able to prove within a shadow of a doubt that Lisa Giocondo is not the woman in the painting and that she was used for her name and not her face. I’m not saying that she didn’t exist! I’m sure she did. She was actually probably dead before Vasari said it was her anyways. Besides, back then they didn’t have photographs or anything to show that the woman in the painting was really Lisa Gioconda. So no one would have known or been able to tell if the girl in the painting was really the real Lisa G or not. I wasn't the first to notice that Da Vinc's own self portrait aligned with the Mona LIsa but I am the first to realize that they combine. The image below is Da Vinci's self portrait and the Mona Lisa combined.This is the Mona Lisa and Da Vinci's Self portrait combined."