news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| December 5, 2014| 12.24 pm IST

Well, it turns out the Mona Lisa may not be Italian after all.

An art historian, Angelo Paratico, has set the cat among the social media pigeons by suggesting that the woman in the painting may be Chinese.
To add, she may also have been the mother of the artist, Leonardo Da Vinci, and his father’s “oriental slave”.

Certainly, one of the the world’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa’s origins and the woman in the painting has been intriguing many across centuries.

The Italian, who’s based in Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post that “I'm sure to a point that Leonardo's mother was from the Orient, but to make her an oriental Chinese, we need to use deductive methods".

The historian, who is writing a book called Leonardo da Vinci: A Chinese Scholar Lost in Renaissance Italy, says, “A wealthy client of Leonardo's father had a slave called Caterina”. Paratico also told the Post that “After 1452, Leonardo's date of birth, she disappeared from the documents. She was no longer working there.”

Adding to the mystery is the fact that Leonardo’s mother was also called Caterina and Sigmund Freud, in an essay in 1910, claimed that the painting was of the artist’s mother.

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