Mona Lisa ‘based on Leonardo da Vinci’s gay lover’

Joe Williams April 22, 2016
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An art historian claims the iconic painting may actually be based on da Vinci’s apprentice.

Mona Lisa’s iconic smile was based on Leonardo da Vinci’s supposed gay lover, an art historian has claimed.

Mona Lisa ‘based on Leonardo da Vinci’s gay lover’

Following intense examination, Silvano Vinceti believes the artwork is an amalgamation of two models.

He claims da Vinci based the painting on merchant’s wife, Lisa Gherardini, and his apprentice Gian Giacomo Caprotti – known to the artist as Salai, or Little Devil.

“The Mona Lisa is androgynous – half man and half woman,” he told The Telegraph,

“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?”

Vinceti examined the artwork using infra-red analysis, in a bid to give the art world further insight into one of the world’s most famous paintings.

His claims that his theory is also backed up with fact – Salai joined da Vinci’s household when he was ten years old in 1490, staying with the artist for twenty years.

In addition, Gherardini married Francesco del Giocondo between 1503 and 1506, meaning da Vinci has access to both ‘subjects’ during the period in which he painted the Mona Lisa.

However, other leading experts have been quick to rubbish Vinceti’s claims.

Mona Lisa ‘based on Leonardo da Vinci’s gay lover’

“The infra-red images do nothing to support the idea that Leonardo somehow painted a blend of Lisa Gherardini and Salai,” claimed Martin Kemp, of Trinity College, Oxford.

The history of art professor added the Vinceti’s claims as nothing more than “a mishmash of known things, semi-known things and complete fantasy”.


More: art, Gay, leonardo da vinci

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