Mona Lisa is Believed To Be Buried at Convent

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It may be that the world's most famously enigmatic woman has shed some of her mystery. An amateur historian believes he has found the final resting place of the Florentine Renaissance woman who inspired Leonardo da Vinci's most renowned painting: the Mona Lisa.

Giuseppe Pallanti, a high school economics teacher from Florence who has written a book about the Mona Lisa, has unearthed a death certificate that shows the woman believed by some to have inspired the artist, Lisa Gherardini, died on July 15, 1542, in Florence and is buried in a convent in the center of the Tuscan city.

"Maybe Leonardo chose a woman like many others. She was not a noblewoman, or a princess. She was a family woman," Pallanti said Friday.

Gherardini was born in 1479 and married a rich silk merchant, Francesco del Giocondo. She has been linked to the painting, known in Italian as La Gioconda, because Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century artist and biographer of Leonardo and other artists, wrote that Leonardo painted a portrait of del Giocondo's wife.

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