Yet more exhumation news

Charles 5 Comments


Posted by Richard Rawlinson

Not Richard III this time but the remains of the woman believed to have inspired Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Lisa Gherardini.

A dig at the now-derelict Convent of St Orsola in Florence is said to be getting close to discovering the buried remains of the noblewoman with the enigmatic smile. But why? To reconstruct her face in order to see if her features match that of the painting at the Louvre, according to Silvano Vinceti, grandly titled the president of the National Committee for the Promotion of Historic and Cultural Heritage.

So much for Rest In Peace. More here 


  1. Charles

    Extraordinary. So matching what’s left of the face of a woman buried over 400 years ago to see if she modelled for the Mona Lisa tells us…what, exactly? File under “so what?” and let her remains rest in peace. She was a life. She gave her face to a great painting during that life. The painting survives. She, in the nature of things, hasn’t. That’s it. Enough. Back off Silvano – if she haunts you to the end of your days it’ll serve you right.

  2. Charles

    I’m with you both on this. Not even sure if you can accurately reconstruct what flesh on a face looks like based on bone structure formed by a skull. But even if you can, it’s no justification to exhume someone..

  3. Charles

    You can get pretty close, Richard, but regardless this is out of order.
    While I genuinely have mixed views on the issue of the treatment of the ‘ancient dead’ and can usually see both sides of the argument, in this case I can see no redeeming features whatsoever.

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