Was the Mona Lisa inspired by a male model?

Was the Mona Lisa a man?

ROME—An Italian researcher says the main influence and model for the “Mona Lisa” was a male apprentice of the artist Leonardo da Vinci.
Mona Lisa, painting by Leonardo da Vinci,  about 1503-1504
Oil on panel, 30 x 20 8/8 in., 77 x 53 cm
Paris, Musee du Louvre
Other titles: ‘La Gioconda’ or ‘Mona Lisa del Giocondo’.
Gian Giacomo Caprotti, known as Salai, worked with Leonardo for years starting in 1490. Art historian Silvano Vinceti said Wednesday that several Leonardo works, including “St. John the Baptist,” were based on Salai and that similarities with the “Mona Lisa’s” nose and mouth were evident.
Saint John the Baptist,  Leonardo da Vinci, about 1508
Oil on panel, 26 7/8 x 22 1/4 in., 69 x 57 cm
Paris, Musee du Louvre
This is one of many theories surrounding the identity of the “Mona Lisa,” ranging from a self-portrait to a Florentine merchant’s wife.
It is not the first time Salai’s name has been mentioned as a possible model. Vinceti insists there were various sources of inspiration at various stages and that the painting is full of symbolic meanings.   [Source: The Associated Press]

Mona Lisa Restored

Here is our version of what the Mona Lisa might have looked like when it was freshly painted.

Just for fun… what Jessica Alba would look like as the Mona Lisa:

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