M.on Salai

Blog post with updates about this: Link

Yesterday I checked my google alerts and saw dozens of stories with headlines like "Mona Lisa claimed to be da Vinci's boyfriend" and various other variations on very high profile news sites. I was excited at first because that has been a theory I've been developing over the last 10 years and is the basis of a book I've been working on. I then realized it had been released by someone else. Someone who was also on a National Geographic episode we were both on a couple years ago. I thought I would post another blog about the theory and the timeline in case the increased interest the news articles brought more readers here. Hi!

The themes being released by someone else does take away from the impact and validity of my work when I do try and  release it myself. It's no longer "news" and the story would then seem that someone else is trying to claim the same thing rather than it being about the theory itself. Or in other words it's a spoiler for that particular theory which would then make it become old news.  It takes the wind out of my sails before I've even set off. It takes it from a breaking story to an already broken one.

Conversely it shows that other people are able to release the same information successfully - demonstrating it's 'news worthy' which is encouraging. Thankfully this is only a small part of my research and I have other things I can release that have not been. 

Writing this makes me feel a little whiny and petty.  I feel like if this was someone else complaining about the same problemI would tell them - "ohh poor you, shut up and do something about it, fix the problem!" SO I guess this blog post and what I do next will be the solution. 

What do I do? 
I guess I tell my storyand what I've found and leave the rest up to you - the reader and those that can help share it. 


The Portrait of Salai and the Mona Lisa's faces combined at 50% transparency.

"Mon Salai" is an anagram of "Mona Lisa" - what does Mon Salai mean? It means "My Salai" in French. Leonardo was known for word and title games and the Mona Lisa is no different. The reasons for her intentional mysteries and curiosities can be partly explained by the discoveries I've made over the last few years. 

In my book I show that Salai was also used as a basis for the Mona Lisa - based off of a painting of Salai which was painted before the Mona Lisa being able to  be purposely superimposed over each other. Salai's other name "Salino" also works as an anagram: "ona lisa." The bridge in the background of the Mona Lisa is also thought to be identified as "The Devils Bridge" Salai means "Little Devil." Another anagram of "Mona Lisa" is "M onSalai." M *Mona* does go on, Salai...

Portrait of Salai combined with the Mona Lisa

My 'discovery' being that when the two paintings are superimposed they create a "Daughter" image - both literally and metaphorically. The same idea behind two people taking pictures of their faces and combining them together to see what their child would look like. 

The Mona Lisa and Leonardo's self portrait superimposing. 

“Do not reveal, if freedom is dear to you, that my face is the prison of love.”

— Leonardo da Vinci

If Salai's face aligns with the Mona Lisa that means that it also aligns with Leonardo's self portrait since it also aligns with the Mona Lisa. 

Since they were two men and could not have a child together they, instead, painted one. Since this was 500 years ago and they could be killed for this let alone their paintings destroyed they were forced to keep it obscure and cryptic. This accounts for secrecy and strange coincidences surrounding the Mona Lisa and a lot of other of Leonardo's works. He left behind many clues and signs to point to this that had gone largely un-noticed mostly due to his works being scattered and some not being seen by the public. With the advent of photography and the internet  more of his art and notebooks have become more accessible. It was by coming in late and naively into Leonardo's world that I noticed these coincidences that I took as clues that eventually led me to putting the pieces together. 

Any one of these 'coincidences' taken independently may  just seem coincidental but after they keep piling up on top of each other they became part of larger story. I've spent a large portion of the last few years trying to explore alternate explanations or to play the "Derek's advocate" but it all seems to lead back to this theory, as crazy and controversial as it may be.

Since I've spent so much time picking this theory apart I've inadvertently  over-looked the most obvious aspects. If this isn't just conjecture and really was Leonardo's intention then wouldn't he have left behind evidence for it? Yes, but because of the sensitive nature of this he couldn't state it openly and had to literally "cover it up." In my sub-quest to dis-prove this I explored an even more mysterious enigma - what is true? How much evidence was required before this was "proven" to be true? I guess I didn't realize until looking back that I already had enough evidence when I first realized that the Mona Lisa and Salai's face combined. I was well versed enough in digital media and photography to know that you couldn't get two faces to do that accidentally or coincidentally. I even tried to get two faces to do the same thing by purposely taking their photograph with the intention of the faces aligning and couldn't get it as aligned as these two paintings are. That alone is enough evidence for many and especially for those who take the time to consider the intricacies that would go into this being able to happen to two different paintings. There is no denying that the two faces are connected. What that connection is - is another story which I explore in annoying detail in my book. 

This shows the portrait of Salai (c.1495-1500) being superimposed over the Mona Lisa (c. 1500-1519) 



“The lover is moved by the beloved object as the senses are by sensual objects; and they unite and become one and the same thing. The work is the first thing born of this union; if the thing loved is base the lover becomes base.”

— Leonardo da Vinci





An article about this from 2006 can be read here:  




The detail from a page of Leonardo's notebooks shows he thought of the idea of superimposing faces. This page has the following cryptic passage with it which I think alludes to the faces being combined. A further explanation will be presented in it's chapter in my book. 

"Truth – The Sun
Falsehood – A mask
Fire destroys falsehood – that is sophistry – and restores truth, driving out darkness.
Fire may be represented as the destroyed of all sophistry and as the image and demonstration of truth: because it is light and drives out darkness wich conceals all essence or subtle things..
Fire destroys all sophistry – that is deceit – and maintains truth alone – that is, gold. Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge.
Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun. Fire is to represent truth because it destroys all sophistry and here lies: and the mask is for lying and falsehood which conceal truth.” – Leonardo da Vinci.