03/01/2012 02:10 pm ET Updated May 01, 2012

Leonardo's Lover Probably Painted The Prado's Mona Lisa

The Prado's copy of the Mona Lisa was most likely painted by Salaì, Leonardo's assistant and reputed lover. Salaì, whose nickname means "little Satan", joined his master's studio in 1490, at the age of ten, and worked with him until Leonardo's death.

Giorgio Vasari, the mid-16th century art historian, described Salaì as "a graceful and beautiful youth with curly hair, in which Leonardo greatly delighted". It has long been believed that Salaì and Leonardo were lovers, although there is no firm evidence of a sexual relationship.

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