It’s hard to imagine any painting more famous than the Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait has been a staple of the art world for centuries, with little more than a woman offering a content smile. Even with so much time passed, there are still plenty of mysteries that have yet to be solved — but if a recent find bears fruit, then the world may soon know plenty about the woman behind it all.
Historians have unearthed a tomb from an old Florence convent; thanks to the female bodies found there and the carbon dating that resulted, the current theory is that the woman who inspired the Mona Lisa is among them. For the record, the common belief is that the Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo may have served as the painting’s inspiration — but even with such prestige to her name, her body never turned up. If the body is among the unearthed remains, then it’s entirely possible to discover a wealth of secrets.
Despite the find, it’s a task that’s easier said than done. Although the remains found date back to the supposed period of del Giocondo’s death and the location was prescribed through records, the actual body can’t be perfectly analyzed. The remains are too worn down and fragmented, and the skull is missing in its entirety. Further testing and technology might be required, but for now, there’s at least a strong likelihood that da Vinci’s muse has been found.