Lisa was everything a man could want in a wife. She soon became pregnant and in early 1496 gave birth to her first child—a son. They named him Piero, after Francesco’s grandfather. In December of 1502, Lisa gave birth to a baby once more—another girl, whom they named Andrea. Two boys and two girls in a loving home, ruled by a kind and beautiful wife—who would deny that he was the luckiest man in Florence?
And then, just as Francesco turned towards the Por Santa Maria to visit one of his workshops, a thought struck him. Perhaps he should honor Lisa with a portrait. He had given her jewelry, of course, to mark each of the births, but so did everyone else, even his cousins. It was not as far-fetched as it sounded; many well-to-do Florentine couples were having a portrait made of themselves these days, even if they weren’t nobility; it was no longer something the upper classes frowned upon. And come to think of it, he always regretted not having a portrait of his first wife Camilla; not only for his sake, but also for little Bartolomeo, who would never know what his real mother looked like.