This time, art historian Silvano Vinceti, believes the identity of the Mona Lisa to be that of Gian Giacomo Caprotti — Leonardo DaVinci’s teenage lovah.
“Salai was a favourite model for Leonardo,” he said. “Leonardo certainly inserted characteristics of Salai in the … Mona Lisa.” Caprotti is thought to have entered Leonardo’s household around 1490, when he was about 10 years old. Working as Leonardo’s assistant for the next 20 years, he acquired the nickname Salai, or Little Devil. He was the subject of several erotic drawings produced by the Renaissance genius.
“Salai was very handsome and probably Leonardo’s lover,” said Mr Vinceti. “He stole from Leonardo and caused him many problems, but the artist always forgave him.” Other art historians were sceptical about the theory, however. Pietro Marani, a Leonardo authority and the author of several books on the artist, called the theory “groundless.”
Grain of salt and all that.