Fresh on the coat tails of news that researchers not only discovered the true of identity of the Mona Lisa but also feel they found where Mona is buried, comes word that the Mona Lisa’s two living descendents are alive and well and for lack of a better phrase — are pretty darn attractive.
Leonardo Da Vinci would be proud.
And lest you think these are just two ordinary working girls think again: according to an article in the Italian newspaper La Corriere Della Sera (6 February 2007) Mona’s heirs are princesses Natalia and Irina Strozzi. Two jet-setters who have danced with Rudolf Nureyev, have vacationed side-by-side Tony Blair and have led as fast a life as one would want when they are 29 and 24 years old respectively.
So where’s the proof?
The paper trail started with genealogist Domenico Savini who has devoted two years studying the family archives of the Strozzi family when he found the proof he was looking for. How Savini was led to the Strozzi family has enough twists and turns to make even Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown envious.
It’s recently been well-documented that the Mona Lisa’s real name was Lisa Gherardini. Lisa married Francesco del Giocondo in 1495, when she was 16 years old. Francesco — who was 14 years her senior — had lost his first wife, Camilla Rucellai, the previous year. Francesco and Lisa Giocondo proceeded to have five children: Piero, Andrea, Giocondo, Camilla and Marietta.
Now here’s where the Giocando family tree starts to get a bit convoluted: each of the five children went their own way and married. Some had children and some did not. The various bloodlines did not all survive. One of the children – who Savini does not mention — had a dalliance with the rich and affluent Italian politician Francesco Guicciardini. This union produced a child, and that child continued a bloodline that wound it’s way to the Strozzi family of the 20th century – as the sisters are direct descendants of princess Girolamo Strozzi Guicciardini.
Any good investigation has its share of unconfirmed urban legends and the tale of Mona Lisa certainly has a few. There are other rumors of other children. In the Italian newspaper La Republica (6 February 2007) it is pointed out that in one letter that Leonardo wrote to the Cardinal of Aragon in 1517 he hints that the Mona Lisa was probably a lover of the artist’s sponsor, the Florentine nobleman Giuliano de Medici. And that supposed union resulted in a child or children.
Cut to the present. Like any good journalist, Domenico Savini won’t reveal all his sources. But one thing that can be confirmed is that 29 year old Natalia Strozzi is an ex-ballerina who for for years danced with Rudolph Nureyev’s ballet company. Her 24-year old younger sister Irina has a degree in economics and they both live near the town of Cusona, near San Gimignano in Siena. The same location in which Tony Blair frequents with his family during his summer holidays.
The Strozzi sisters have made little comment of the situation saying only that “…History speaks for itself.” Journalists have made an effort to photograph the girls in front of the famous portrait of their namesake, but the policy of the Louvre is quite clear: The Mona Lisa cannot be photographed. So how about the next best thing: a photograph of the two sisters standing outside — in front of the famous French museum.
Check out the AC Archives for a story on the discovery of the burial site of the Mona Lisa.