'Mona Lisa' was a portrait of a man, and not the Italian woman Lisa del Giocondo, an Italian researcher says.
'Mona Lisa', the portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci and the world's most famous painting, was influenced by a male apprentice, long-time companion, and possible lover of the artist, an Italian researcher claimed today (2nd February 2011).
According to Yahoo News, Silvano Vinceti said the portrait has several hidden meanings and "must be read at various levels". However, he highlights Da Vinci's apprentice 'Gian Giacomo Caprotti', also known as 'Salai' as the main influence and model for the painting. Vinceti described the pair's relationship as "ambiguous" and most art historians agree that Salai was one of the artist's lovers. The researcher goes on to claim that the similarities between the individual in the Mona Lisa and Salai's depiction in other Da Vinci works are "striking", and he particularly highlights the nose and the mouth. He added, "Salai was a favorite model for Leonardo. Leonardo certainly inserted characteristics of Salai in the last version of the Mona Lisa".
The painting, which now hangs in the Musee du Louvre in Paris, was stolen back on August 22nd 1911 and renowned artist Pablo Picasso was questioned about its disappearance. Its status as the world's most famous painting has also resulted in a number of unusual incidents. In 1974 it was reported that a woman became so upset with the Tokyo National Museum's policy for the disabled that she sprayed red paint at the Mona Lisa in protest.
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