Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Italian researchers argue the Mona Lisa model was male

"She" is known the world over for her enigmatic smile, but Italian researchers claim they have something to add to the mystique of the Mona Lisa: She may have been modeled after a man.

Italian researchers who specialize in resolving art mysteries said Wednesday they have uncovered the long-discussed identity of the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Silvano Vinceti, chairman of the Italian national committee for cultural heritage, said the Florence-born artist's male apprentice and possible lover Salai was the main inspiration for the picture.

But his claim was immediately disputed by experts at the Louvre in Paris, where the painting is on display.

Apprentice and lover

Salai, whose real name was Gian Giacomo Caprotti, was an effeminate young artist who worked with da Vinci for 25 years. He is thought to have served as a model and muse for several of his paintings. The pair had an ambiguous relationship and were probably lovers, according to Vinceti.

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14814400,00.html

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