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The Mona Lisa Mystery Solved?

The mystery of the Mona Lisa, perhaps the world’s most famous painting, has been solved – at least, that is, according to a group of German scholars!

The Mona Lisa, painted in the early 1500s by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, has captivated millions with her mysterious smile for centuries. Although the evidence to date indicated that the female subject of the painting was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of the wealthy Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo, there was still much debate about her true identity. Some believed that Mona Lisa was the mother or lover of the artist or even the artist himself! This is because the evidence pointing to Lisa del Giocondo was scant and somewhat unreliable.

But an observation by a manuscript expert of the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Armin Schlechter, has now confirmed that Mona Lisa was indeed Lisa del Giocondo. Dr. Schlechter found notes written by Florentine city official Agostino Vespucci in the margins of a book that belonged to him and now resides in the library. The notes were written in 1503 and mention that Leonardo da Vinci, who was an acquaintance of Vespucci, was working on three paintings; one of which was a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo. To Dr. Schlechter, these handwritten notes provide indisputable evidence of the identity of the Mona Lisa.

Dr. Schlechter had actually discovered the notes more than two years ago but even though he published his findings, it received little attention at that time. It wasn’t until a German reporter publicized the discovery that the news began to spread.

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Diana Blake is a professional artist and art history enthusiast. Her fascination with art history began when she encountered European art firsthand during several trips abroad as a young adult. As she began to compose a portfolio for her own art career, she called upon what she had seen in Europe and extended her knowledge to other styles of art through profuse reading and exhaustive research. As a result, Diana has written more than one hundred articles in which she delves into a variety of art history topics and she has compiled a list of links that she believes to be invaluable for art history enthusiasts. In addition, she also reviews books and movies on the topic of art history and has assembled an extensive list of online stores that sell books, movies and gift items related to art history.
   You can see Diana's own artwork by visiting her site at