Two things have haunted Mona Lisa since Leonardo da Vinci painted it 500 years ago —who is she? And why is she smiling? Researchers in Germany claim to have found the final proof of her identity.
According to the researchers at Heidelberg University, scribbled notes in the margin of a book 500 years old are the evidence that establishes the identity of the woman with the strange half-smile. “It's Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Giocondo a Florentine merchant, whose portrait hangs in the Louvre museum in Paris,” the media reported on Tuesday, quoting lead researcher Viet Probst as saying. Many have long supposed La Gioconda, as she was also known, was the sitter, from comments made by Giorgio Vasari in 1550. But Vasari's identification was made 50 years after Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa, and, the university said he was noted for elaborating the truth.