Author lists Mona Lisa's final resting place
January 19, 2007 10:28pm CST
An amateur historian said tha he has found the final resting place of a Renaissance woman who has been linked to Leonardo da Vinci's most renowed painting, the "Mona Lisa" A death certificate show that Lisa Gherardini-the woman some have identified as the model for the "Mona Lisa" - died on July 15, 1542, in Florence and is buried in a convent in central Florence, Giuresppe Pallanti said. "Maybe Leonardo chose a woman like many others," Pallanti, a high-school economics teacher in Florence, told The Associated Press. "She was not a noblewoman, or a princess. She was a family woman." It's not certain that Gherardini, whow was born in 1479 and married a rich silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo, is the woman in the painting whose smile has inspired speculation for centuries. Tradition links Gherardini to "La Gioconda," as the painting is known in Italian, because Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century artist and biographer of Leonardo and other artists, wrote that da Vinci painted a portrait of del Giocondo's wife. Pallanti, who unearthed Gherardini's death certificate shortly before Christmas, said Gherardini was a mother of five, plus a sixth whow was adpoted. Her home was near Florence's Basilica of San Lorenzo, which in turn is near the Convent of St. Ursula where she is said to have been buried. That same convent became the home of one of Gherardini's daughters, who bacame a nun. "Her husband's will said that after his death, she would go and live with her daughter," Pallanti said, expalaining what led him to search through documents there and eventually discover her death certificate.