Researchers opened a centuries-old Florence tomb on Friday in a search for remains that could confirm the identity of the woman whose enigmatic smile Leonardo da Vinci immortalized in the “Mona Lisa”, one of the world’s most famous paintings.
A round hole, just big enough for a person to wriggle through, was cut in the stone church floor above the family crypt of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, whose wife Lisa Gherardini is thought to have sat for the Renaissance master in the early 16th century.
Theories abound about who the real Mona Lisa was, but Silvano Vinceti, a writer and researcher who heads Italy’s National Committee for the Promotion of Historic and Cultural Heritage, plans to test DNA in the bones in the dank space and try to match it with those of three women buried at a convent nearby. Read more.
Italian archaeologists searching for the remains of the real-life Mona Lisa have found two more skeletons.
The two bodies were found under the basement of a former convent in Florence on Tuesday.
The team believes Lisa Gherardini, said to be the model in Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous piece, is buried there.
“If everything goes as planned, we will find Gherardini and with her skull we will be able to reconstruct her face thanks to sophisticated, new technology,” said Silvano Vinceti, the head of the National Committee for The Promotion of Historic and Cultural Heritage.
A total of seven skeletons have been discovered since the excavation began in April. Read more.
Lisa Gherardini is coming closer to emerging from the grave. The remains of the woman believed to have inspired Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa likely are about to be exhumed by researchers.
The announcement, at a news conference in Florence, follows the discovery of another skeleton, the fourth since the bone hunt began last year — beneath an altar in the church of the now-derelict Convent of St. Orsola.
"The skeleton doesn’t belong to the Mona Lisa, but it’s hinting to her burial. Indeed, she might be just underneath," Silvano Vinceti, president of a private organization known as the National Committee for the Promotion of Historic and Cultural Heritage, told a news conference on Wednesday.
Vinceti’s ambitious project aims to possibly reconstruct Lisa’s face in order to see if her features match that of the iconic painting hanging at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Read more.
London, July 18 (ANI): Archeologists have found a skeleton buried beneath the floor of a convent in Florence, Italy, and they believe it belonged to the model who posed for Leonardo’s da Vinci’s mysterious masterpiece - the Mona Lisa.
The medieval Convent of Saint Ursula in Florence was the burial site of Lisa Gherardini, wife of the wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, who modelled for Da Vinci.
Most modern historians agree that the lady depicted in the Mona Lisa was Lisa del Giocondo, who became a nun after her husband’s death. She died in the convent on July 15, 1542, aged 63.
An archeological team began digging at the abandoned convent last year.
They first found a crypt they believe to have been Lisa’s final resting place and soon after they unearthed a female-sized human skull.
The skull was found five feet under the convent’s original floor along with other fragments of human ribs and vertebrae.
And this week, they found a human skeleton. Read more.
A Leonardo da Vinci mural unseen since the 16th century may have been found hidden behind a fresco painted by another artist, art researchers in Florence, Italy said Monday.
Da Vinci painted “The Battle of Anghiari” on a wall of the Hall of the 500 of the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of Florence government, in 1503, but the masterpiece was lost during a restoration project 50 years later.
The theory is that when artist Giorgio Vasari created his mural “The Battle of Marciano,” he erected a brick wall in front of da Vinci’s plaster wall, effectively preserving the older masterpiece.
"They told us we were looking on the wrong wall, that it was just a legend," Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi said at a news conference Monday, where researchers revealed the discovery of paint apparently matching pigment from Leonardo’s "Mona Lisa."
Da Vinci’s work was commissioned to commemorate the Republic of Florence’s victory over Milan in the battle on the plain of Anghiari in 1440. While da Vinci was believed to have not been satisfied with the result, in which he used new techniques, art historians said it was a much-studied masterpiece in its day. Read more.
Leonardo da Vinci’s painting the Last Supper survived bombings during World War II and exposure to some of the worst air pollution in Europe. But threats to the famous artwork loom, particularly from compounds wafting off the skin of visiting tourists.
An international team of scientists sampled particles in the air immediately outside and within the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie Church in Milan, where da Vinci painted the mural in the 1490s. A recently installed ventilation system at the church’s entrance is protecting the painting from soot and other emission-related debris.
But inside the refectory were surprisingly high levels of squalanes, carbon compounds naturally emitted from plants, human skin and cosmetics and lotions, the researchers report in an upcomingEnvironmental Science & Technology. There are no plants inside, which pinpoints visitors as the source, says environmental engineer Nancy Daher of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Read more.
Nuclear physics might soon solve a longstanding Leonardo da Vinci mystery — the fate of a lost masterpiece known as the “Battle of Anghiari.”
The project, one of the most ambitious in art history, involves developing a unique camera that can take photographs through a 5-inch-thick wall.
The brick barrier is no ordinary wall. It stands in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s 14th-century city hall, in the imposing Hall of Five Hundred, and houses a mural known as the “Battle of Marciano.” It was painted by the renowned 15th-century painter, architect and writer Giorgio Vasari.
Leonardo’s lost work could lie right behind that wall, according to art diagnostic expert Maurizio Seracini, director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology at the University of California, San Diego.
The long-lost fresco, which Seracini has been searching for since the 1970s, has a mysterious history. It was conceived in 1503, when Leonardo and Michelangelo received twin commissions to paint historic Florentine victories on opposite walls of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Read more.
A lost masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered in a private American collection and will be unveiled publicly for the first time by the National Gallery in London later this year, according to people close to the institution.
"Salvator Mundi"—a depiction of Christ with his right hand raised in blessing —has been authenticated by experts as the Leonardo painting that disappeared after being owned by Charles I and Charles II of England, according to these people. The last time an important Leonardo was discovered was a century ago.
The National Gallery, which plans a major exhibition on the Renaissance master this fall, declined to comment.
Salvator Mundi—an oil on wood panel measuring 26 inches by 18.5 inches—is a devotional work comparable in size and subject to Leonardo’s St. John the Baptist in the Louvre in Paris.
According to a person familiar with the painting’s history, restorers began work on Salvator Mundi in the hope that it might be by someone closely associated with Leonardo because of stylistic evidence. Leonardo’s hand was confirmed after the removal of layers of discolored varnish and overpaint applied by earlier restoration attempts. Read more.