Researchers are scanning the site of the Sant’ Orsola Convent in Florence with ground-penetrating radar. They’re looking for the remains of Lisa Gherardini ( 1479 –1542), wife of Francesco del Giocondo. You probably know her better as Mona Lisa. Her portrait, painted by neighbor Leonardo da Vinci, now hangs in the Louvre.
Author and da Vinci admirer Giuseppe Pallanti has determined that Lisa Gherardini, who lived with her husband Francesco del Giocondo on via della Stufa in central Florence, was buried at the nearby Franciscan convent, where she retired after her husband’s death. The convent building was later a factory, a shelter for WWII refugees, and a teaching facility before it was partially razed to build barracks for the Italian tax police. The barracks were never completed, but tombs and graves were excavated during the building of underground parking facilities. Some excavated materials were hauled to a landfill outside town, and last year it was thought that Lisa Gherardini’s remains might lie there.
If researchers at the Sant’ Orsola site locate remains they think belong to the woman with the mysterious smile, they can compare the DNA to samples from remains of known Gherardini descendents. Her two children are buried in Florence’s Santissima Annunziata church.
Short link: http://bit.ly/mEMYHh
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.