Da Vinci Code Cracked: Manuscript Reveals True Identity of Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa's true identity has been revealed at last. Experts at Heidelberg University library say a manuscript they unearthed reveals that she was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine merchant Franceso del Giocondo.
The Mona Lisa
Heidelberg University library confirmed last Friday a German radio report that its researchers had discovered the true identity of the model in the famous 16th century portrait. She was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Franceso del Giocondo.
The director of the university library, Veit Probst, said the mystery was unravelled after a book was found in the library archive that once belonged to a friend of da Vinci. In October of 1503 the Florentine official Agostino Vespuccui wrote a note in the margins of one page, saying that his friend was working on three paintings, one of them a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo. The note, scribbled into a collection of letters by the Roman orator Cicero, compares the Florentine painter and sculptor to the ancient Greek artist Apelles.
The note confirming that the painting's subject was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
Probst is planning to publish an essay in three weeks in which he will lay out the full proof for his assertion. But if the mystery of the Mona Lisa is about to be cleared up, there may still be another puzzle to unravel. Who exactly discovered the note?
The initial media reports gave credit to Probst himself. However, on Monday the library announced it was unearthed over two years ago by another researcher and his findings were even printed in a university library catalogue. In a statement the library said: "All doubts about the identity of the Mona Lisa have been eliminated by a discovery by Dr. Armin Schlechter," a manuscript expert at the library.
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