Androgynous Lisa

Androgynous Lisa

With the publicity around the Mona Lisa, every new theory brings about more questions about the painting.

The Mona Lisa is arguably the world’s most famous portrait. The publicity comes from her mysterious smile and the mystery behind who she is. However, one person may have begun to end that mystery, and to be honest, I think he has a compelling argument.

Silvano Vinceti, an art historian, feels that the Mona Lisa painting is an androgynous character, both male and female. How could this be?

‘“The Mona Lisa is androgynous — half man and half woman. The painting was based on two models. The first was Lisa Gherardini and the second was Salai, Leonardo’s apprentice," Mr Vinceti told The Telegraph.

The background of these two individuals is another reason why this explanation is plausible. As many have theorized, the female model is Lisa Giocondo. This is the wife of the merchant Francesco del Giocondo. Many people have already accepted this claim as the truth behind the Mona Lisa.

The claim about Salai, Leonardo’s apprentice, being the male model is where people begin to doubt Vinceti. Vinceti believes that the close tie that Leonardo had with Salai could explain why Leonardo used his apprentice. Salai began to work for Leonardo in 1490, just 13 years before Leonardo began the Mona Lisa. There have been many theories that Leonardo may have had a gay lover during this time. Many believe that Salai is that lover.

I think Vinceti has come up with a groundbreaking theory. Leonardo da Vinci is known for more than his paintings. He invented machinery that is still used today in society. His mind was unlike any other of the time, and, even now, he is still looked at as a genius. For Leonardo to believe that true beauty could only be found in a combination of both genders is no surprise.

Many other theories exist about the Mona Lisa. Some historians believe that the Mona Lisa is actually Leonardo. The basis of this theory is that the self-portraits of a young Leonardo are similar to the Mona Lisa. Other historians believe that the Mona Lisa is Caterina da Vinci, Leonardo’s mother. There are also those who believe that the Mona Lisa was pregnant because her hands are crossed and people feel that she has a “baby bump.”

In my opinion, Vinceti’s theory may be one of the strongest. This is in part due to the fact that it combines another popular theory that says that the Mona Lisa was probably a man. This is due to the idea that Leonardo believed that true beauty can only be obtained from the combination of a man and a woman, which Vinceti also believes.

No matter how one looks at it, the Mona Lisa will always be an important topic in the history of art. I think this is a great thing because that means art will always be relevant. I hope people come up with more theories about the Mona Lisa. Maybe there will be more discoveries of art from other paintings that will help solve this mystery.

Cover Image Credit: wikipedia

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Arizona Teachers Are Officially Walking Out, And Us Students Are Right Behind You.

Teachers aren't alone in this demand for action, and we are ready to support them by all means necessary.

A little while ago, my teachers started wearing Red on Wednesday’s. Little did I know, that was the beginning of making history.

For the last few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of standing by my teacher’s sides every Wednesday morning to demand change. But now, it’s even more real.

When I first got word of a potential walkout, I honestly didn’t think much of it. I don’t think any student did. We all thought that a walk in would make a change happen.

On Wednesday, April 18th, an overwhelming 78% of Arizona Teachers voted yes to walking out of school until demands were met.

And now, on Thursday, April 26th, it begins.

School was canceled. No one knows what will happen. No one knows when everything will go back to normal.

But as a student, I couldn’t be more honored to be taught by so many miraculous people who are making history.

I’ve seen and heard countless reactions to the walkout from different students. Some are worried about Graduation, some are worried about AP Testing, and some really just don’t want to stay longer than the original calendar entails.

But, it’s just one year.

I don’t care if I have to stay an extra day, week, or however long is required. I don’t care if I graduate on Friday instead of Thursday. I don’t care if I don’t receive my actual diploma at my Graduation Ceremony until the missed days are made up.

It’s worth it. Little bumps in the road are nothing compared to the reward this walkout demands.

If nothing changes for teachers and schools in Arizona, then who are we to say that there will even be teachers to come in the long run?

When I was first exploring degree options, one of my first interests was Elementary Education. But that interest was short lived because I knew that the pay I would receive just wouldn’t be enough. Students like me have seen our teachers struggle for so many years, so do you really think anyone who even decides to major in Education will plan to stay in Arizona with the pay teachers receive now? No.

Not only are the teachers in Arizona walking out for themselves, but they’re walking out for the new teachers to follow who deserve better.

Us students are proud, our parents are proud, our friends and co workers are proud. Teachers are not alone. They have a strong force standing right behind them. And we will continue to stand behind them for however long it takes for things to finally change.

Cover Image Credit: Associated Press / YouTube

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