Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Mona Lisa's Identity Revealed

Experts at the Heidelberg University library say dated notes scribbled in the margins of a book by one of Leonardo da Vinci's friends in October 1503 confirm once and for all that Lisa del Giocondo was the model for one of the most famous portraits in the world.

Mrs. Giocondo, whose maiden name was Gherardini, was married to Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy silk merchant in Florence and was first linked to the painting in 1550, about 50 years after it was finished.

But doubts persisted and theories multiplied, including one about Mona Lisa being a man and another that she was Leonardo's version of the ideal female, not a real person.

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