Mona Lisa's DNA: Identity
This is an update to the whole "Who was Mona Lisa, lets dig up bones and dna test them and reconstruct them" etc etc. story. That story has been picked up and followed by all the top news outlets around the world for years. You can read about it on Leonardo's Wikipedia page and all over the internet.
Previous blog posts about this:
- Mona Lisa's (Gheradini) DNA August 12, 2013
- Proado Mona who you be? Feb 23, 2012
- Scientists to dug up Leonardo da Vinci's bones: January 24, 2010
- Mona Lisa's true Identity: January 27, 2008
Scientists were going to did up Leonardo's bones to reconstruct his skull and compare it to the Mona Lisa.
|Mona Lisa and Leonardo's face being superimposed.|
The problem with this is that by verifying that they found the real life Lisa G's remains (by testing it with her known relatives) is that it does not mean that she is who is depicted in the Mona Lisa. They could re-construct her face to rule her out (if it was drastically different) but to 'verify' that it's her in the painting is very problematic.
It's been considered for quite a while that Leonardo's own self portrait aligns with the face of the woman in the Mona Lisa. Even if it were unintentional it would show that a face of someone who is not the sitter (and a totally different sex) could be made to "align." If it was intentional then it presents a whole new set of problems such as why would he design his own face to align with the face of a real life Lisa G? Those are some of the questions that finding and reconstructing Lisa G's face would help to solve.
Through the research for my book, which is partly about Leonardo's face and the Mona Lisa, I have pretty much taken the real life Lisa G out of the running for being the person portrayed in the painting: Mona Lisa. There are many reasons and they are partly explored on my web site on their respective sections and will be elaborated on in my book.
I do think that it is possible and probable that Leonardo painted a portrait of the real Lisa Gheradini. The problem is that there is not just a single "Mona Lisa' But many - potentially dozens that were created during and immediately after the one in the Louvre. The Prado Mona - and Isleworth being prime examples. It could also be argued that while all of these "Monas" are in the same pose and being displayed the same - they are not really the same person being portrayed.
DNA tests on bones found in Florence church may help ID 'Mona Lisa' model
"Researchers trying to identify the model for Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" have started DNA tests on a skeleton found in a Florence church in a bid to link the remains with recently discovered bones believed to be those of the Renaissance icon's descendants.
The identity of the woman painted by Leonardo in 1504 has long been suspected to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a rich silk merchant who died around 1542.
Last year, Silvano Vinceti, the head of Italy's National Committee for the valuation of historic, cultural and environmental assets, uncovered several skeletons in the basement of the Sant’Orsola convent in Florence, one of which is believed to be the model's. "
Are we closer to finding the real Mona Lisa? DNA testing on bones in a Florence convent could reveal Leonardo da Vinci's lost model
- The bones are thought to belong to Italian noblewoman, Lisa Gherardini
- Gherardini believed to have posed for the painting between 1503 and 1506
- Notes by an official confirm da Vinci was working on her portrait at the time
- If a DNA match is made, scientists will make a 3D reconstruction of Gherardini's face using details from the skull and painting