The news is breaking everywhere… but today I’ll source PEOPLE:
Researcher and head of Italy’s national Historic Properties Evaluation CommissionÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Silvano Vinceti says that Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic painting of theÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Mona Lisa isÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â a portrait of a man.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
(insert gasps!) Says PEOPLE:
“Specifically, Vinceti says, the painting is of da Vinci’s long-term young male assistant, who was called Salai (real name, Gian Giacomo Caprotti) and who allegedly owned the prized portrait when he died in 1525.”
Vinceti, called the relationship between the two men “ambiguous” but suggested they were lovers. The researcher also claims the painter left clues in the eyes of the Mona Lisa, linking himself with Salai.
Vinceti’s claims were quickly dismissed by the Louvre.
In December, VincetiÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â claimed that tiny initials were hiding within the portrait – aÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â small L for Leonardo and an S for Salai and that advancements in technology were able to pinpoint. But the Louvre chalked that up to aging in the artwork causing cracks that could be interpreted as virtually anything. (Kind of like looking at clouds and calling them animals, I guess.)