I interrupt the stream of Germany posts to bring you something I find very cool.
While I appreciate the Mona Lisa's influence on the history of Renaissance portraiture, it's not a piece I've ever found as mesmerizing as the general public seems to. What I do find very interesting is the new development on the search for knowledge of her identity, namely the discovery of what they believe to be the remains of Lisa Gherardini in the Convent of Saint Ursula in Florence.
Just as a side note - can we take a moment to appreciate this guy's outfit?
After the death of her husband, Francesco del Giocondo, Gherardini moved to the convent where her two daughters lived and was tended to by them until her death, at which point she was interred there.
Since they have the remains of her children, they can ascertain whether the skeleton belonged to Gherardini by way of a DNA test. The remains could be unrelated, in which case the archaeological team would begin new digs in September to unearth other bodies and continue their search. If, however, the results are positive (and this is why it's particularly exciting that the skull of the skeleton they found is largely intact), they need only wait two months, during which they will reconstruct her face based on the bone structure of the skull. They can then compare the reconstruction with the portrait and confirm whether or not the subject of the painting is indeed Gherardini.