LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Mona Lisa is considered by most art experts to be the most famous painting in the world.
According to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the painting was first shown 500 years ago this week. But do we know who Mona Lisa was?
"One reason I chose to replicate the Mona Lisa is to study," said artist RB McGrath. She walked THV11’s Rob Evans through her Jacksonville studio. "Emulating the great masters," she added, "is one of the best ways to learn."
“I started discovering things about the Mona Lisa.”
Leonardo da Vinci's 500-year-old masterpiece, The Mona Lisa. History shows she was the wife of a wealthy merchant in the early 1500's. But McGrath, and many other art experts, claim Mona Lisa may not be what she seems. "I started noticing certain features on the Mona Lisa," she explained, that "were the same as the Salia painting."
Salia is the nickname for Leonardo da Vinci's long-time male apprentice. And the man some claim was Leonardo's lover.
Artists point to similarities in paintings of Mona Lisa and Salia. The nose. The forehead. The smile. All compared to other Leonardo works of Salia. "So that's when I came to the obvious conclusion that that is the painting of Salia and not Mona Lisa."
That's not all. When Leonardo died, he willed his paintings and writings to a different assistant. But not Mona Lisa. That painting ended up in the hands of Salia.
"Why would he inherit the Mona Lisa?" McGrath asked. "Because he posed for it," she said.
The Mona Lisa is on display at the Louvre in Paris. The Louvre denies these claims.
If you want to hear more about art history, RB McGrath's studio is in Jacksonville opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at 1 p.m. on Sundays.