Meet the True Mona Lisa


Mona Lisa

Dianne Hales wrote the book, “Mona Lisa, A Life Discovered.” In the manuscript, she details the life of the real Mona Lisa created by one of the most famous artists of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. Some people believe the Mona Lisa was, instead, a self-portrait of the artist, but this is not true.

Lisa Gherardini, The Real Mona Lisa

The author of the book studied Italian in the U.S. Along with her husband; they traveled to Italy each year on vacation. She made new Italian friends on each holiday, and Hales became intrigued by the real Mona Lisa, who was Lisa Gherardini. During her visits, Hales walked the streets in Florence, the city where Gherardini lived. She knelt in the same chapel, where Gherardini prayed. She eventually wandered into the convent where Mona Lisa died. When all was said and done, the author tried to trace the steps of the “Mona Lisa.” She took the pieces she gathered and put them together to imagine her life.

Mona Lisa And Her Early Years

The author met a researcher of Lisa Gherardini’s life, Giuseppe Pallanti, who shared his findings and gave her a map of the city. The map had X’s, which marked the different homes where Lisa had lived. The author revisited the palazzi, where the young girl lived as a child and as a teenager. This was followed by visiting the location where Gherardini married a merchant. She visited the churches where Mona Lisa worshipped. She went to the convents where her daughters had lived as well as Lisa herself during her final years. The actual Mona Lisa was born in 1479. The author visited the place Gherardini lived when she married in 1495 at age 15. She gave birth to six children (some historians say one died at birth). The author paid a visit to the dilapidated former convent, where Monta Lisa died and was buried. Hales described her subject not as a victim but as “a fully dimensional, confident, intelligent, intriguing, flesh-and-blood woman.”

Facts About Lisa Gherardini

Lisa’s husband was a cloth and silk merchant who eventually became a local official. He was much older than his wife. There was a lot of questioning, but it was definitively proven that Lisa Gherardini was “Mona Lisa,” the famous artist painted. It is known that her family had been well off, although not wealthy. Her father, Antonmaria, lost his first two wives during childbirth. His third wife, Lucrezia del Caccia, gave birth to the future “Mona Lisa.” The famous woman had three sisters and three brothers. When Lisa married, she and her husband lived in a home they shared until 1503. In that year, her husband was able to purchase a home next door to his family’s old house. It is thought that the famous artist began painting Lisa’s portrait during that same year. It is believed that Lisa’s husband died of the plague of 1538. Lisa eventually became ill. She was taken by one of her daughters, who had become a nun, to live in the convent Sant’Orsola The famous Lisa Gherardini, “Mona Lisa,” died in 1551 when she would have been 71 or 72 years old.

Mona Lisa was a pretty young girl and grew more beautiful as she became a lady. She had a full life and, with all accounts, she made the most of it.