Mona Lisa in Florence
The Mona Lisa is doubtless the most famous painting in the world and it is at the Louvre.
Italians and especially Florentines find hard to accept that it is in France.Why should it?
Leonardo has done the painting during his stay in Florence, while living close to Palazzo Gondi and the woman portrayed, Lisa Gherardini, is Florentine. SO the most common idea is that the French have stolen it from us. There are many works that the French should return, the Louvre is full of Italian masterpieces, but not the Mona Lisa.
Leonardo has sold Mona Lisa to its benefactor: King Francis I of France, who welcomed him at the Castle of Amboise when he was old and he treated him like a prince.
The Italians call the painting “La Gioconda” because she was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, while Anglophones call it the Mona Lisa (Monna = short for Madonna and so “Lady”) Lisa.
Now in Florence archeologists and historians are looking for her body in the former convent of St. Orsola, because according to a document filed in Archivio Laurenziano of Florence Lisa Gherardini was been buried here in 1542.
It ‘s a very interesting research because all the fascination about this portrait lays in the face of this enigmatic woman and the many questions that are related to it.
Why did Leonardo not give the work to those who had commissioned him and why has continued to work on it for a lifetime never considering it finished? What has really Leonardo portrayed? The archetype of femininity, or his own portrait as a woman, as many claim?
If the research will be successful, scientists expect to be able to virtually reconstruct the face of Lisa Gherardini and so we can figure out who really Leonardo has portrayed.
If the bones of the skull had not to be found then it will be necessary to have DNA exams so to compare these remains with her sons, buried at SS Annunziata or with those or her still living descendants (the Countess Gherardini).
The research that will hopefully give us certainty about who the woman of Leonardo’s painting is, costs only € 12 thousand. They are financed by the Province of Florence and by all those who work at this project because they are all volunteers!