A French expert reported that a careful study of the painting by a team of scientists using infrared and 3-D technology revealed that the woman in the painting had just given birth to her second son at the time of the sitting. The technology enabled the scientists to see details long obscured through the many layers of paint. The dress was covered in a fine, transparent gauze veil, typically worn by Italian women in the 16th Century who were either pregnant or had just given birth. With these newly-discovered details, the painting has now been dated to 1503.
Several assumptions were turned on their head, not the least of which that the subject of the painting had been a prostitute. Bruno Mottin of the French Museums' Centre for Research and Restoration said in interviews that subject had not let her hair hang freely but in fact wore a bonnet from which only a few curls managed to escape. Allowing ones hair to hang freely during the Renaissance was typical of young girls and women of poor virtue, hence the confusion about the identity of the woman who sat for the portrait.
Teacher Giuseppe Pallantini spent 25 years researching the connections between DaVinci family and the merchant. He discovered during his research that the Italian biographer of Renaissance artists, Giorgio Vasari, was a credible source for correctly identifying the subject of the portrait as early as 1550; Vasari had known the Giocondo family personally.
Pallantini said in the London Telegraph that Lisa Gherardini was aged about 24 when she sat for the portrait. Amongst the many documents relating to DaVinci and his most famous and enduring subject, the teacher found Ser Francesco's will in which he praised his beloved wife. He also found the birth certificates of their five children, two of whom took religious vows, were also uncovered. No record of the death of Lisa Gherardini was found, but her death is estimated to have occurred between 1540 and 1570.
Mr. Pallantini presented his research in a book which has only recently been published. While scholars are generally appreciative of his meticulous research and the conclusions drawn, some are careful to suggest that Pallantinis findings are not absolute proof that Lisa Gherardini is the Mona Lisa but they do come close enough to merit serious consideration.