The Mona Lisa’s Tuscan Villa Could Be Yours for $11.3 million

It belonged to a woman historians believe sat for the painting.

Villa 1

Villa Antinori.
Photo: Courtesy of the Lionard Luxury Press Office.

A sprawling, 16th-century Tuscan villa just outside of Florence recently hit the market for a cool $11.3 million, and art historians have reason to believe the property might have once belonged to the Mona Lisa herself.

Agence France Presse reports that a previous owner of the Villa Antinori was a woman by the name of Lisa Gherardini and her husband, silk merchant Francesco Del Giocondo. Some experts suggest that Gherardini was the model who sat for the world-famous Leonardo da Vinci portrait, though definitive evidence has yet to confirm this theory.

Leonardo da Vinci, "Mona Lisa" (1503–1517)

Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (1503–1517.
Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

Intriguingly, the painting was created between 1503 and 1506, which happens to coincide with the years Gherardini and her family owned the villa.

Confirming the Mona Lisa’s elusive identity has long perplexed art experts. Some say the model was Leonardo himself. (We wouldn’t put it past the Renaissance master to cross dress for a selfie.) A less plausible theory posits that the painting depicts the artist’s mother, who was, according to art historian Angelo Paratico, a Chinese slave.

Villa Antinori (interior).<br>Photo: Courtesy of the Lionard Luxury Press Office.

Villa Antinori (interior).
Photo: Courtesy of the Lionard Luxury Press Office.

Either way, the property stands alone as an impressive plot of real estate. The grounds, which is within walking distance from Florence, even come with lemon and olive groves.

Other recent Old Master-linked Italian homes to hit the market in recent months include Leonardo’s breezy oceanfront estate in Livorno, Italy, which was offered last summer for a cool $14.6 million. In February, a Tuscan escape just outside of Florence that belonged to his Renaissance contemporary Michelangelo went up for sale with an asking price of $8.3 million.

For those interested in the property, the Villa Antinori is currently listed under Lionard Luxury Real Estate.


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