Although the portrait has already been securely identified as being Lisa Gherardini, wife of the Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo the speculation continues and recently it was claimed to be portrait of a man namely, Giangiacomo Caprotti da Oreno, who was Leonardo's servant, nicknamed "Salai" one of the many pretty young boys working as models in Italy at that time. Although Leonard did produce nude sketches of Salai the face does not resemble that of the Mona Lisa.
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"The real-life Da Vinci Code: Historians discover tiny numbers and letters in the eyes of the Mona Lisa." The Daily Mail.
The Mona Lisa was originally identified as Lisa Gherardini as early as the mid 16th century when Vasari put together his biography.
The art world's most enduring mystery surrounding the identity of the woman in Leonardo da Vinci's famous portrait Mona Lisa may soon be solved.
Art historians, led by Prof Silvano Vincetart, are planning to exhume the remains of the woman, believed to have been the model for Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, in a bid to extract her DNA and recreate her face, the Daily Mail has reported.
The site for the dig is a former convent where the coffin of noblewoman Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo is believed to be buried. She is thought to have been the woman behind the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa, the 500-year-old