Lisa del Giocondo


July 5, 2022

Lisa del Giocondo (15 June 1479 – 15 July 1542 or around 1551, at the age of 72), also known as Lisa Gherardini, was a member of the Gherardini family in Florence and Tuscany in Italy. Her name is used for the Mona Lisa, a painting of her ordered by her husband and painted by Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance. Little is known about Lisa's life. He was born in Florence and married before the age of 20 to a man who worked as a shoemaker and a cloth and silk trader who later became a local official. From her marriage, Lisa gave birth to five children and she is considered to be living a comfortable life as a housewife for a simple middle-class family. Lisa outlived her husband, who was quite distant from her in age. Centuries after Lisa's death, the Mona Lisa became the most famous painting in the world and has a separate story from the life of Lisa, the model for her painting. Speculation by experts and art enthusiasts has made this painting a world icon and object of commercialization. In 2005, research conducted at the Ruprecht University Karl Heidelberg Library identified Lisa del Giocondo as the subject of the Mona Lisa.

Early life and family

Lisa was born in Via Maggio, Florence on June 15, 1479, but for many years she was thought to have been born into one of the rural owners of Villa Vignamaggio outside Greve. She was given the name Lisa, after her paternal grandmother. As the eldest of seven children, Lisa has three younger sisters—one of whom is named Ginevra—and three younger brothers named Giovangualberto, Francesco, and Noldo. Lisa's family belongs to a noble family that has lost its influence. They lived in Florence, originally near Santa Trinity. Even though they are not rich, they live well, with income coming from agricultural land. They then rented a place near Santo Spirito, allegedly because they could no longer afford to repair their house when the damage was severe. They moved to what is now Via dei Pepi, then to near Santa Croce. This is where they live next door to Ser Piero da Vinci, Leonardo's father. At that time they still had a rest house in St. Donato, Poggio village, 32 kilometers (20 mi) south of the city. Antonmaria di Noldo Gherardini, Lisa's father, has been married twice. In 1476, he married Lucrezia del Caccia, who would give birth to Lisa. His two previous wives—Lisa di Giovanni Filippo de' Carducci, married in 1465, and Caterina Rucellai, married in 1473—died in childbirth. Gherardini at one time owned or leased six farms in Chianti, which produced wheat, wine, and olive oil, and raised livestock. Noldo, Lisa's grandfather, donated a plot of farmland in Chianti to the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital. Gherardini rented out another piece of farmland, and so that he could oversee the wheat harvest, his family spent the summer there, in a house called Ca' in Pesa.

Marriage and later life

When she was fifteen years old, on March 5, 1495, Lisa Gherardini married Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanobi del Giocondo, aka Francesco del Giocondo. Antonmaria's dowry for her daughter's wedding was a plot of farmland near her vacation home, plus 170 gold florins. The dowry of that size is relatively small among the middle class, especially when compared to the financial agreements made in other marriages. This shows that the Gherardini family was not wealthy at that time and that Lisa and her husband married on the basis of mutual love. Francesco del Giocondo was probably thirty-seven years old when he married for the third time. Ham