Was the Mona Lisa a Chinese Slave?

DV142066 Leonardo da Vinci Painting

The identity of the sitter for the portrait hanging in Paris’ Louvre museum has long been a matter of debate. If Paratico’s theory is correct, it means the 15th-century polymath was half-Chinese.

The woman depicted in the Mona Lisa might be both a Chinese slave, and Leonardo da Vinci’s mother, according to a new theory from Angelo Paratico, a Hong Kong-based historian and novelist.

“One wealthy client of Leonardo’s father had a slave called Caterina. After 1452, Leonardo’s date of birth, she disappeared from the documents. She was no longer working there. During the Renaissance, countries like Italy and Spain were full of oriental slaves.”

The identity of the sitter for the portrait hanging in Paris’ Louvre museum has long been a matter of debate. If Paratico’s theory is correct, it means the 15th-century polymath was half-Chinese.

 “Mona Lisa is probably a portrait of his mother, as Sigmund Freud said in 1910. On the back of Mona Lisa, there is a Chinese landscape and even her face looks Chinese.”

However, the historian’s claims are tenuous.

Paratico told the South China Morning Post: “I am sure up to a point that Leonardo’s mother was from the Orient, but to make her an oriental Chinese, we need to use a deductive method.

“One wealthy client of Leonardo’s father had a slave called Caterina. After 1452, Leonardo’s date of birth, she disappeared from the documents. She was no longer working there. During the Renaissance, countries like Italy and Spain were full of oriental slaves.”

In support of his theory, Paratico, who is finishing a book entitled Leonardo da Vinci: a Chinese scholar lost in Renaissance Italy, also cited Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud’s 1910 assumption that the painting was inspired by the artist’s mother, and claimed that certain aspects of Da Vinci’s life and work suggest an oriental link….(read more)

Telegraph


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