Well, this is an interesting albeit not surprising piece of news. Silvano Vinceti, the head of an Italian research team, is claiming that Leonardo Da Vinci’s famed Mona Lisa painting isn’t a portrait of a local merchant’s wife as we had originally been led to believe, but is actually based on his apprentice, Gian Giacamo Caprotti. The boy’s visage is already featured in some of Da Vinci paintings such as St. John the Baptist and Angel Incarnate, and according to Vinceti, his similarities are striking to the Mona Lisa.
Da Vinci’s supposed gay lover came to work for him at the age of ten and stayed for twenty years. During that time, Da Vinci reportedly had the boy pose for erotic sketches and affectionately nicknamed him “little devil.” Although Vinceti’s claims are completely baseless, they’re still probably not far from the truth. The Mona Lisa has always looked a little more like the Monty Luke with her androgynous face, and back then it wasn’t uncommon for an artist to have a 12-year old boy serve as their muse. In fact, if you think about it too much it might actually start to make you uncomfortable. In the 15th century, same-sex preferences were kept completely hidden and any dalliances with pubescent boys especially had to go unrecorded. Who knows how many “muses” would’ve been in need of intensive therapy?
Maybe discovering the true inspiration behind the Mona Lisa painting could be fodder for the next big Hollywood movie! They’d have to tone down the pedophilia parts though in order for someone like Tom Hanks to sign on, but it would have all the ingredients for a killer blockbuster: Art, geniuses, misunderstandings, and a sprinkle of forbidden gay sex.