mona lisa

One art historian, Silvano Vinceti, claimed that Mona Lisa’s iconic smile doesn’t belong to a woman but is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s gay lover, Gian Giacomo Caprotti.

The scholar came to such a conclusion after conducting infra-red analysis of the original painting, which is now at the Louvre in Paris.


Silvano Vinceti consider this artwork as an amalgamation of two models: a rich Florentine merchant’s wife, Lisa Gherardini, and da Vinci’s lover – Gian Giacomo Caprotti, whom the the artist called Salai, or Little Devil.

“The Mona Lisa is androgynous – half man and half woman,” he told in his interview to The Telegraph. He explained his investigation. After he studied some portraits of Salai he found striking similarities. “You see it particularly in Mona Lisa’s nose, her forehead and her smile. We’ve come up with an answer to a question that has divided scholars for years. Who was the Mona Lisa based on?

So this drawing reportedly by da Vinci is thought to be of Salai.


Another scholar who investigated some paitings of da Vinci, Martin Kemp, contests the idea that Mona Lisa is a composite of Salai and Gherardini:

He said that: “The infra-red images do nothing to support the idea that Leonardo somehow painted a blend of Lisa Gherardini and Salai.” He also added that too little is known about Salai’s appearance.

Giorgio Vasari (a contemporary painter and a chronicler of Renaissance artists) described him as a pretty boy with curly hair, but that was a standard type of the era,” he said at the end. “It featured in Leonardo’s work long before Salai came on the scene.

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