Well this is somewhat horrifying. Researchers in Florence, Italy are all set to dig up the bones of Lisa Gherardini, died 1542, with the goal of reconstructing her face to see if maybe, just maybe, she might have been Leonardo’s model for the rather famous portrait you see here.
And then what? Congratulate themselves?
I’m having a hard time seeing what purpose is served by this desecration (sorry! no other word for it!). This isn’t a reputable act of art history, archeology or anthropology. It’s more akin to the bored gentry who used to take pickaxes and spades to burial mounds, just to see what was in there. It’s destructive curiosity.
But maybe there’s a cautionary tale for the wealthy women of our time. Want your portrait painted? Go ahead. But be sure to commission only mediocre talent. Hire a genius and you just might lose any shot your old bones had for eternal rest.