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.