Experts determine Mona Lisa identity
German experts have confirmed the Mona Lisa painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant.
The discovery of notes scribbled in the margins of a book belonging to the painting's 16th-century owner confirm the model was not da Vinci's mother, girlfriend, or himself, as some have speculated.
BERLIN (Reuters) - German academics believe they have solved the centuries-old mystery behind the identity of the "Mona Lisa" in Leonardo da Vinci's famous portrait.
Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, has long been seen as the most likely model for the sixteenth-century painting.
But art historians have often wondered whether the smiling woman may actually have been da Vinci's lover, his mother or the artist himself.
Now experts at the Heidelberg University library say dated notes scribbled in the margins of a book by its owner in October 1503 confirm once and for all that Lisa del Giocondo was indeed the model for one of the most famous portraits in the world.
"There is no reason for any lingering doubts that this is another woman," Leipzig University art historian Frank Zoellner told German radio. "One could even say that books written about all this in the past few years were unnecessary, had we known."