Wednesday, January 16, 2008


She is Lisa del Giocondo, wife of Florentine businessman Francesco del Giocondo, according to book-margin notes written by a friend of Leonardo da Vinci while the artist worked on the masterpiece, the school said in a statement Monday.

The discovery by a Heidelberg University library manuscript expert appears to confirm what has long been suspected.

The Mona Lisa is known as "La Gioconda" in Italian.

False Leads
Del Giocondo was named as the likeness in the painting as early as 1550 by Italian writer Giorgio Vasari, who also dated the work at between 1503 and 1506, the university said.

But because Vasari relied on anecdotal evidence, there were always doubts about the identification, and Leonardo is not known to have made any notes about the model's identity himself.

Compounding the mystery, continue

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