Natalia and Irina Strozzi have claimed in their interview with the NBC News that they are related to the woman in Leonardo da Vinci’s famous portrait, known throughout the world as Mona Lisa or Giocondo, which is now exhibited in The Louvre in Paris.
According to the Italians, this vaguely smiling woman was the wife of tradesman Francesco del Giocondo, Lisa Gherardini, who also turned out to be their ancestor.
“It's our great-grandmother, we have the same blood running in our veins,” they told the US broadcaster, saying they have “visited” their famous grand-grandmother in the French museum many times.
According to the sisters, who earlier perused acting and dancing careers, and eventually got focused on their family’s wine business, their grandmother used to tell them about it, but they never took it that seriously.
However, later their friend, who is a historian, dug into the archives of the Strozzi family, which happens to be one of the oldest and most powerful ones in Italy.
According to the Strozzi sisters, Leonardo’s father had been a notary for Francesco, who ordered the portrait of his wife in the beginning of the 16th century.
Social media users, however, have voiced their skepticism over the theory.
And I’m a descendant of Thor!!!— bee52 (@bee527) 4 августа 2018 г.
((((；ﾟДﾟ))))))) Mona Lisa’s DNA can be detected from the famous portrait?!— MctArticle (@mctarticles) 4 августа 2018 г.
Their theory is backed by art history professor from Florence University Rab Hatfield, who expressed his certainty about the relation between the Strozzi sisters and the woman in the portrait, pointing to evidence found at Germany’s Heidelberg University two decades ago. A book with a reference to da Vinci’s painting Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo was discovered there.
For ages, art historians and amateur painting lovers have been debating, who is pictured in the world’s most famous portrait. Some have even concluded that it was Leonardo’s self-portrait, or an image of an ideal woman.