This Impressive Copy Of The Mona Lisa Was Probably Painted By Da Vinci's Lover

mona lisaThe Mona Lisa copy

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It may be that a restored copy of the Mona Lisa, recently unveiled at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, was painted by Leonardo da Vinci’s assistant and purported lover, Salaì, Martin Bailey reports for The Art Newspaper.Curators believe Salaì is the most likely copyist, writes Bailey. He would have done the painting next to Leonardo at the same time that the Renaissance master painted the portrait which now hangs in the Louvre.

To complicate matters, however, the provenance of the original Mona Lisa could be in question. Salaì is believed to have inherited the original Mona Lisa upon Leonardo’s death; King Francis I of France later acquired the painting.

attached imageLeonardo’s Mona Lisa

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In 1991, it was revealed that when Salaì died, he left behind a painting called La Joconda, a reference to the model, Lisa del Giocondo, who is believed to have sat for the Mona Lisa, writes Bailey.

If Salaì actually painted the Prado copy of the Mona Lisa, then Bailey writes that that portrait may have been the painting he is believed to have inherited from Leonardo.

This throws the early history of the original Mona Lisa into question.

But it doesn’t end there. What about the minority belief among some researchers that the sitter for the original Mona Lisa was actually a man, Salaì himself? If the copy is indeed Salaì’s, could it be a self-portrait?

Now check out the 10 most expensive paintings sold last year >

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