Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/9/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sons of the painting's believed inspiration to be exhumed for DNA testing

Leonardo Da Vinci's immortal portrait, the Mona Lisa has enchanted mankind for centuries. Part of the painting's allure is the origin of her mysterious smile - as well as her identity. Many believe that the real-life Mona Lisa was a merchant's wife named Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo. Now, that woman's two sons will be exhumed in bid to find if she really was the inspiration behind the painting.

Whatever is learned from DNA testing, the world will continue to be baffled by the beautiful Mona Lisa's smile --

Whatever is learned from DNA testing, the world will continue to be baffled by the beautiful Mona Lisa's smile --

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/9/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Mona Lisa, exhumation, DNA tests, Leonardo Da Vinci


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Florentine family tomb has been opened up for the first time in centuries in a bid to identify the bones of a woman believed to be the model for the Mona Lisa.

Da Vinci's 16th century painting, which now hangs in the Louvre, Paris, is believed to be a woman who lived across the street from the artist.

A tomb in a former St Ursula convent in Florence was opened and several skeletons found last year. Experts believed the skeletons there could be the remains of Gherardini.

In a bid to correctly identify the remains, samples will now be taken from the Gherardini family tomb in the Martyrs' Crypt in Santissima Annunziata basilica where her husband and two sons are buried.

In order to exhume the remains, a round hole was cut in the stone floor just big enough for a person to wriggle through. Geologist Antonio Moretti said the remains had an inscribed stone indicating they belonged to the family of Lisa Gherardini's husband and sons.

"Right now we are carrying out carbon-14 tests on three of the eight skeletons found in St Ursula, which could be the age Lisa Gherardini was when she died," Silvano Vinceti, head of Italy's national committee for cultural heritage, said. "The carbon-14 test will tell us which of the three dates back to the 1500s. Only then will we know which skeleton to do the final DNA test on."

It's thought that Lisa's husband Francesco Del Giocondo commissioned the portrait to celebrate either Lisa's pregnancy or the purchase of a house around 1502 and 1503.

After Franceso's death, Lisa became a nun, dying in 1542 at the age of 63. She was said to be buried near the convent's altar.

If the team think they have a positive match, Vinceti plans to commission a virtual reconstruction of Lisa Gherardini's face, based on the bone structure, and compare it to Leonardo's painting.

"If we succeed, we can finally resolve three questions which have obsessed historians and art-lovers worldwide," Vinceti says.

"Was Gherardini the model for the Mona Lisa? Or was it some other model, as some people say? Or is it just a construction of the painter's fantasy?"

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Europe

Remains of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Leopold Mandic arrive in Rome for Jubilee of Mercy Watch

Image of The relics of the two saints were welcomed to St. Lawrence with a large celebration and procession into the basilica (CNS/Reuters).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

The partially incorrupt body of Padre Pio has arrived to Rome for the first time ever alongside that of another friar, St. Leopold Mandic, as a special initiative for the Jubilee of Mercy. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Urns containing the relics of Saint Padre ... continue reading


Seeking reconciliation, Pope Francis, and Russian Orthodox leader to meet in Cuba - for first time, ever Watch

Image of The meeting comes after years and decades of previous outreach efforts, which has prevented papal visits to Russia (AFP).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In the hopes of repairing a schism within Christianity, that dates back as far as the 11th Century, Pope Francis will meet with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cuba. The two branches have been estranged because of disagreements over papal authority - as ... continue reading


Woman takes toddler to join ISIS Watch

Image of Tareena Shakil took her toddler to Syria to join ISIS (PA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Twenty-six-year-old Tareena Shakil told her family she would be vacationing in Turkey with her 14-month-old son. The next time her family heard from her, Shakil and her son were in Syria - and had joined the terrorist organization ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Evidence of the Yeti? Footprints in Himalayan snow said to be of abominable snowman Watch

Image of Among the most elusive of all crypto-zoological creatures, the Abominable Snowman has had several eyewitness accounts. Some Russian fans here pose with an elaborate mock-up of the snowy creature (Lenta).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The abominable snowman, or Yeti, remains one of the world's most elusive crypto-zoological figures. There have been many eyewitness reports of the hairy giant throughout the mountain ranges of the Himalayas for many years. A British man, on vacation in Bhutan, ... continue reading


'I should never have smiled at him': Nightclub owner bans migrants from club when language barrier leads to sexual harrassment Watch

Image of When women began to report migrants harassing them at his nightclub, Jensen decided to take action (Mads Flackner).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Tom Holden Jensen, the owner of a Danish nightclub, decided to ban all migrants who don't speak Danish, English or German from his Buddy Holly club in S√łenderborg. The controversial decision was made after several women claimed they felt threatened and intimidated by ... continue reading


'Covering St.Peter's in an enormous box?' - Italians react to veiling of classical art for alien religion Watch

Image of Statues were covered in advance of Rouhani's visit to Rome, but not all of them.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Italians are upset that state officials covered ancient Roman statues to avoid offending Hassan Rouhani's sensibilities during his visit to Rome. The president of the Islamic Republic is on a tour of Europe to drum up trade following the lifting of sanctions on Iran. ... continue reading


The world recognizes International Holocaust Remembrance Day Watch

Image of International Holocaust Remembrance Day honors the memory of those who were lost (kosherKola).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On November 1, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 to make January 27 the International Day of Commemoration in memory of Holocaust victims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of the ... continue reading


Migrant worker in Sweden murdered at CHILD migrant center Watch

Image of Refugee violence in Europe continues to grow, as Alexandra Mezher [not pictured] is stabbed by suspected Somalian refugee.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 22-year-old migrant center worker was brutally stabbed to death outside the housing for unaccompanied migrants in Molndal, Sweden. Sadly, her death is one of several migrant-related crimes throughout Europe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported ... continue reading


You won't believe what a 'Christian Patrol' group experienced in Britain Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A video has been released showing members of the group Britain First, marching through the Muslim stronghold of Bury Park, Luton, bearing crosses, and passing out Christian literature. There is the expected clash with the local Muslims ... and the results are ... continue reading


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asks Pope Francis to pray for him Watch

Image of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asked Pope Francis to pray for him (Getty Images).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

For the first time in 17 years, a pope and Iranian leader met for private talks at the Vatican. Each leader spoke of the responsibilities of religious communities and human rights. Their talks concluded with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asking Pope Francis to pray ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Sunday, February 7th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, February 07, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Monday, February 8th, 2016 HD Video
  • MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey
  • Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice white dies at 74
  • St. Moses: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 07, 2016
  • Lower Your Nets For a Catch! We Are All Called to Evangelize

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8
1 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord seated on a high and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 7th, 2016 Image

St. Moses
February 7: Arab hermit and bishop who is called "the Apostle ... Read More