Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Mona Lisa from her sleep

Leonardo da Vinci is rolling over in his grave: the Mona Lisa will be exhumed, said the agency ADN-Kronos Italian. The hunt will begin April 27 skeleton in Florence, in a former convent. Objective: to find the remains of Lisa Gherardini, the woman alleged to have inspired the painting of the Renaissance genius, and whether it was indeed the model of Leonardo.

Some 1,000 square meters will be passed to the GPR to locate the remains of a woman of 63 years - Mona Lisa, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. According to historian Vasari, a contemporary of Leonardo, the husband of Lisa Gherardini had commissioned the portrait painter of his wife. The death and burial of the Mona Lisa was discovered some years ago.

Born in 1479, Lisa Gherardini died July 15, 1542 and was buried at the convent of St. Ursula. If the team of the art historian Vinceti Silvano has his way, the body will be subjected to a litany of tests, including a DNA sample. This DNA will be compared to that of his children, Bartholomew and Piero, buried in a Florentine church.

If fragments of skull were found, the group will pursue a facial reconstruction, "wrote Le Matin. This step is crucial to determine whether Lisa Gherardini was used as a model for Mona Lisa's famous smile and so much was his. Vinceti believes that the young woman could be the initial model of the portrait, but that Leonardo was probably influenced by the face then his apprentice and lover, Salai.

The art historian is not his first exhumation. It has already identified the bones of Giotto and claims to have found the remains of Caravaggio, the master of chiaroscuro. In 2003, said The Daily Telegraph, he opened the tomb of Petrarch - to find the skull of a young girl. In the bones of Pico della Mirandola, Vinceti found traces of arsenic - proof, he said, that the philosopher was murdered, probably by a Medici.

The researcher's dream? Obtaining permission to exhume Leonardo da Vinci is buried at the Chateau d'Amboise. "By measuring his skull could digitally recreate the face of Leonardo and Mona Lisa to confirm that was not a self-portrait." The search for the Mona Lisa is she successful? Vinceti has described as "unfounded" the thesis of Chris Johnson, who argues that all such research would be futile.

According to the English journalist, ex-convent have been excavated in the 1980s and debris swept up in a landfill outside of Florence.

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