Published: 10th August 2021
#ThrowbackToday: To ascertain the identity of Mona Lisa, experts extracted DNA from a tomb!
Yes, this happened. In today's #TBT, we tell you about the time when a tomb was opened to confirm that the lady in the painting Mona Lisa was indeed Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo
If there is one smile that has baffled one and all it's that of Mona Lisa, which the painter extraordinaire Leonardo da Vinci perfectly captured via the painting of the same name.
But the mystery was a long-drawn-out one and on August 10, 2013, scientists decided that the suspense had gone on long enough. So, they suspected it was Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, a noblewoman who was the third wife of a silk merchant. It was her who was the sitter for the painting. So Italian scientists visited Florence's Sant'Orsola convent, where her tomb was believed to be located.
A hole was expertly cut in the stone church that was above the family crypt and the DNAs extracted were tested. In 2015, after the carbon testing on the bones was completed, the plan was to find a match. Once the DNA was matched, an image of Gherardini could be regenerated to attest to the fact that indeed, she is Mona Lisa from the Renaissance masterpiece. But the DNA had deteriorated over time to ascertain for sure. But there are other clues, like a note written by an Italian clerk back in 1503 that identified Lisa Gherardini as the woman in the painting, already existed.
Over six million people visit the Louvre Museum in Paris annually only to get one glimpse of this painting and Mona Lisa's enrapturing smile.