Leonardo da Vinci -his remains to undergo DNA testing. da Vinci was a man of many talents, but who made few contributions to the many fields he investigated. To know more about him, his remains will be subject to DNA testing and carbon dating by a group of Italian scientists. DNA testing might provide answers, depending on whether there are DNA samples belonging to the artist that can be tested, but the process can be costly and time consuming.
Da Vinci left a minor opus of artistic works and was not as prolific as other renaissance painters especially considering the ripe old age at which he died. His most famous painting, The Mona Lisa, is a mysterious and captivating work to some or just a dull portrait of an androgynous woman to others. From an artistic perspective, the painting is a masterpiece as da Vinci developed and applied a new technique, known as the ‘sfumato’ which gives the Mona Lisa her peculiar smile.
The sitter of the Mona Lisa has been disputed by experts ad Nausea. Is she the wife of the silk merchant, del Giacondo? This would support the many people that refer to the painting as La Giaconda. Is the woman in the painting a self portrait of da Vinci, a man who loved cryptic codes and riddles? Leonardo’s remains are found in France, in town of Amboise in the Loire Valley. If the permits for an exhumation go ahead and his skull is intact, experts may well be able to create a digital reconstruction of da Vinci’s face. CT scans of the artist’s skull will be mandatory to help recreate the artists face and superimpose this onto the sitter in the painting to check the alignment of facial features. If there is a match, then it is very likely that the Mona Lisa is in fact, a self portrait of da Vinci himself.
DNA experts want to find out how the artist died and more importantly, whether the remains in Amboise castle are really da Vinci’s given the lack of records around the 500 years since his burial. DNA bone sample are one of the very few samples that they may be able to use. Amboise castle has turned down a previous request for an exhumation and now the Italian team will go through legal channels. But in France exhuming bodies is a complex matter and requires legal intervention by the state.
Part ii is to come and will delve further into the story of DNA testing on Leonardo da Vinci’s Remains. No one has ever been able to confirm the tomb at Amboise is da Vinci’s and contains his remains; it is simply a symbolic location until DNA tests on the supposed remains within the tomb prove that the bones are da Vinci’s.