Lisa Gheradini/ Giacondo's bones found? (Mona Lisa?)

X-radiograph of the Mona Lisa

Of the many mysteries surrounding and embedded inside the Mona Lisa her idenity is quite possibly the most enduring and controversial. Most art historians will tell you that the sitter is "Lisa Gheradini or Lisa Giacondo the wife of a wealthy silk merchant."
Italian researchers have decided to finally try and answer the question: Was the "Mona Lisa" really Lisa G? They intend to reconstruct her skull to see if her face is the same face in the Mona Lisa.
But why? Why does it matter and why can't we agree on who the woman in the painting really was?
This all started around 500 years ago when -"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

This wasn't written until after Leonardo had already died. Before this the painting didn't have an "official" title (Leo didn't title it) and went by the names:
  • "A Certain Florentine Lady"
  • "A courtesan in gauze veil"
  • "La Joconde"
  • "La Giaconda"
Both these previous titles and "Mona Lisa" in particular are very interesting. What it was called before "Mona Lisa" do not allude to it being of Lisa Gheradini. She was not a Cortesan and if it was really a portrait of her why would it be called "A certain florentine lady?" A gauze veil was worn by pregnant woman at the time (This is a clue for something else.)

In my book I attempt to give a new and far more controversial theory to the idenity of the sitter in the Mona Lisa and it's not Lisa G. I think she was used for her name and not her face. La Joconde means "light hearted" - La Giaconda (the feminine form of Lisa G's last name)  means "Light Hearted Woman." So for Lisa to be said to be the sitter is intruiging since another form of her last name was both an alternate title for the painting as well as describing the sitters expression AND a specific characteristic of the painting itself. The very center of the painting is also where her heart is and it is ALSO the concentation of the most light in the painting - literally.
  • I have more about these "name games" on my web site HERE.  

Leonardo was a man very fond of puzzels and word games and had to obscure a lot of his work.

I think Vasari specifically and intentially identified the sitter as Lisa Giocondo so the painting would be titled - MONA LISA - which I also believe to be the title Leonardo himself intended. The strange and mysterious way this happened was part of the puzzel which is ebued itself with clues. The alternate and previous titles and especially Vasari's use of "Mona Lisa" which really just means "Maddame Lisa" all add to the paintings mystique. But why?

Leonardo's own self portrait aligns and combines with the face in the Mona Lisa- why would this happen if it were Lisa G's face? Why would da Vinci intend for this to happen? Some may call this a coincidence and the result of Leonardo painting both from an "Ideal Perspective" but there is a lot more to it than these two faces simply being similar. It's what happens when they are superimposed that shows his intent. Notice the dark dot at the lower center of his self portrait? It is where "Lisa's"(light) heart is. There are also examples from his journals and sketches that he was aware of the potential of superimposing faces.

Why would he intend for his self portrait to align with another painting - though? This is where the story gets even more complicated and contoversial. The theory that the title of my book "Discovering Da Vinci's Daughter" is based on is also related to faces combining and the title "Mona Lisa" itself. There is more about this in the links below. But lets just say that it's highly unlikely that after reconstructing Lisa G's skull that it will be anywhere nearly as similar as Leo's own self portrait and..

Mon Salai

Bones unearthed in Italy could be remains of woman who inspired the Mona Lisa link
  • Researchers and art lovers alike have long sought to know more about the woman behind the enigmatic smile in Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece.
Archeologists discover 'skeleton of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa' link
  • Italian archeologists have unearthed the remains of a skeleton which they say belongs to Lisa Gherardini, the woman who is the subject of Leonardo da Vinci's iconic painting, Mona Lisa.
Have archaeologists uncovered Mona Lisa model's remains? link
  • It's the face that launched a thousand imitations. Now, archaeologists are convinced they've found the body of the real Mona Lisa.
Mona Lisa's Bones May Have Been Discovered link
  • Mona Lisa's bones may have been found under an Italian church – but some say that's nothing to smile about.
Italian Archaeologists Believe They Found Skeleton Of The Real Mona Lisa link
Mona Lisa discovery: Do we have reason to smile? link
  • The mystery surrounding the Mona Lisa could finally be resolved. Archaeologists have found a skeleton they believe belonged to Lisa Gherardini, the woman who posed for Leonardo da Vinci’s painting
Mona Lisa’s Bones Possibly Beneath Italian Church link
  • The bones of Mona Lisa, the woman who posed for Leonardo da Vinci’s famous masterpiece in the 1500s, may be located beneath an altar in an Italian church, according to researchers.
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