Was Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa really a bloke?

275x250.jpgItalian art historians have claimed the model for the Mona Lisa was a male apprentice and possible lover of Leonardo da Vinci.

Silvano Vinceti says they have finally unraveled the mystery behind the secret identity of the model in the world-famous painting.

The chairman of the Italian National Committee for Cultural Heritage says it was actually a young man called Gian Giacomo Caprott - also known as Salai.

Salai worked with Leonardo da Vinci for 25 years starting in 1490 and had what was described by Vinceti as an "ambiguous" relationship with the artist.

It's know that he modelled for several of da Vinci's other works and the experts argue similarities can be identified with the Mona Lisa's nose and mouth.
Speaking of the revalation, Vinceti said: ""Salai was a favourite model for Leonardo. Leonardo certainly inserted characteristics of Salai in the last version of the Mona Lisa.

"The Mona Lisa must be read at various levels, not just as a portrait."

There are plenty of other theories about the true identity of the Mona Lisa. Ideas include it being a feminised self-portrait or an image of a Florentine merchant's wife.

National Committee for Cultural Heritage
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