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Mona Lisa or Mon Salai?
by Louie Parsons
2006-11-17 08:26:17
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She's inspired controversy, mystery, and wonder since 1504. The current belief is that she is a portrait of Madame Lisa Giocondo, the wife of a wealthy silk merchant. There have been countless other theories, but the identity of the sitter has been only one of the many mysteries surrounding this painting.

The painting once held the world record for the world's most expensive painting and today could be estimated to be worth almost a billion dollars, but that's assuming the Louvre would ever sell her. Some new theories have emerged about the identity and mystery surrounding the world's most famous work of art, but from an unexpected source: Derek Bair, a 23-year-old aspiring writer and photographer from Lake Forest, California.

He's spent the last few months of his life trying to figure out the many mysteries that surround this painting and the life of Leonardo Da Vinci, and thinks he's figured out whom she really was. "I realized that there was something special about Da Vinci that no one really explained in a way that made sense to me. What made him so curious? What compelled him to spend his entire life searching for the answers to life's biggest questions? But more so, how did he come so close to actually figuring them out?"

His research started after watching The Da Vinci Code, but he had been interested in Leonardo before the book was released. Fittingly, he read How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci a couple years back and says he felt that it helped channel his curiosity. "He's been one of the only people I've been able to look up to that had the same immense curiosity about the world. Someone not satisfied with the answers that other people gave, but needed to know for himself."

There are many parallels with his life and that of Leonardo. He's always been obsessed with animals, horses especially, and drawing. He's also kept journals, which he describes as immense, "They've grown from a couple entries in high school to literally phonebook-sized or more, year after year. They keep me sane and always listen! They're my life…literally!"

For the last few months, Derek Bair has been researching and analyzing the Mona Lisa and other art by Da Vinci and Raphael and has come up with some very intriguing theories. One of which includes that the Mona Lisa is encoded with information to render her in 3D and contains thousands of other images - something which is not be totally off base.

The Mona Lisa was X-rayed recently and it was found to have at least three other paintings underneath. Not only that, but there are layers which consist of transparent oils that are invisible to the naked eye. "Why would there be layers on a painting that can't be seen? Why would he keep covering up his favourite painting time and time again? What are those other paintings underneath? I doubt he would paint them - just to cover them up. I bet they're meant to be seen."

Housed behind bulletproof glass and in a climate-controlled environment, this isn't just for the painting's preservation, but protection. She's been attacked in the past by people throwing acid on her, stealing her, throwing a rock, and cutting her. "I guess I'm not the only one who wants to know what's underneath!"

One of his many theories also includes the assertion that Da Vinci could be considered the world's first photographer. "He painted with such perfect detail and precision that his paintings, especially the Mona Lisa, could not just be considered a photograph, but something even more. Essentially a new medium that we can barely understand today, with all of our advanced technology, we still don't even know how he painted it."

Derek has been intrigued by the many mysteries surrounding the Mona Lisa, including why the perspective of the background is off. No one has really understood why it inexplicitly rises mysteriously behind her. Derek thinks this was just one clue to get people asking questions. He's found that if you roll up a print of the Mona Lisa, you'll see that the edges match up. He also doesn't believe that the sitting is really Lisa Giocondo, "It's definitely not her! She was used for her name and not her face. Just like Dan Brown used in his novel, Da Vinci was fond of word games and double meaning; Mona Lisa is no exception."

The feminine form of Lisa Giocondo's last name, 'Gioconda' means 'Light-hearted lady' and Derek has found, not surprisingly, that the exact centre of the painting is focused on Mona's heart, plus it also has the most concentration of light. He says that this is just one of the many clues that Da Vinci left behind to help someone figure out who "she" really is. One of the many theories of the identity of the Mona Lisa has been Da Vinci himself. This stems from the fact that his self-portrait matches up exactly with that of the painting. Derek thinks this is no coincidence and, after his research, he's found another painting that also matches up.

The painting is of Da Vinci's assistant and lover Salai, which is housed in the Alois collection in Liechtenstein. "I thought it was fascinating that his self-portrait would match up with a painting of a woman. I tested this myself and found that it didn't just match up, but combined in a way that produced new images. I actually started to write an entire book on the theory that it was really him as a woman, but that ended up turning into something quite unexpected!"

While thinking of various other theories to describe why his face might match up with the Mona Lisa, Derek also considered the possibilities of a daughter, his mother or a sister. "I knew Da Vinci had it match up for a reason. A daughter made the most sense, but considering that he never married I was left with the idea that it could have been a painted daughter. Then I wondered who he would have the other parent be. I remembered those machines in shopping malls that tell you what you child might look like after it takes a picture of someone and their partner - what if that's it?"

Interestingly, after comparing the painting of Salai, Da Vinci's lover, it matched up with the Mona Lisa even more than Da Vinci's sketch. "It was one of those moments in my life where I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I only considered it as an alternate theory and was stunned when the painting of Salai matched up over the Mona Lisa. It made me realize why he kept everything such a secret!" If Derek's theories are correct then we might finally know whom the Mona Lisa really was and find another painting by the world's greatest painter. In all of Da Vinci's journals, the name 'Salai' was used most; it's also present in the 'Mona Lisa'.

"M O N A L I S A, rearranged, could spell out 'Mon Salai', which means 'my Salai' in French or possibly "M on Salai", which is also pretty cool since the painting of Salai does go over Mona!" There seems to be so many coincidences surrounding this painting and Da Vinci, not to consider there to be some substance to all of these claims, however fantastic they might seem, would be foolish.

When asked how all of this could have been possible in a time when they didn't even have the modern convenience of a light bulb, Derek says, "Da Vinci is considered to be the greatest genius of all time, there was something special about his way of thinking. I think it was actually his lack of help that forced him to develop areas of his mind that no one else even knows they have. I believe he could actually dream during the day, actually visualizing anything he wanted."

He also thinks that Da Vinci might have been either Autistic or had Asperger's Syndrome, which is a neurological disorder that isn't completely understood but makes it difficult for those affected to relate to others. There are some with Autism, called "Autistic Savants", who display some very fascinating talents, such as being able to remember almost anything; the character in the movie Rain Man was based upon an Autistic Savant. "There was something unique, something different about Leonardo Da Vinci. Not just in what he thought about, but how he did. He saw things in a way that no one else could."

Derek has many theories for someone so young and who only started researching Da Vinci a few months ago. He's found it difficult to get anyone to listen to his theories due to a lack of credentials. He says, "I don't have a formal education in art or a certificate to back me up, but neither did Leonardo and he's regarded as the greatest genius so far. I think it was Einstein who said that if you haven't contributed to human knowledge by the age of thirty you wouldn't!"

He has studied Digital Media at a private college in Sydney, Australia, and went to Saddleback Community College where he majored in Philosophy. He has many interesting theories that seem to raise more questions than they answer, but he has some compelling evidence to back it all up. He says the hardest part hasn't been the research and discoveries, but not getting any recognition for his hard work.

"I had never even looked at paintings before all of this and came across this almost by chance. It's been hard to put so much effort into something that I would have never even considered doing a year ago. It's also frustrating trying to get people to even look at what I've found; I'm not a good salesman!" Derek says his research and findings are based on Da Vinci's notebooks and art. He credits his success to understanding how Da Vinci thinks, but he's reached the limits of what he can do on his own and says he's lost almost everything in this endeavour.

With the blockbuster The Da Vinci Code being released on DVD this month, it couldn't be better timing to release his research. There seems to be a growing interest in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and it's only now that we're able to understand how he created such amazing works of art. Derek is ready to move onto something else, but can't help but wonder what's enabled him to see things and discover things that no one else has even touched on in 500 years, especially with no formal training other than reading Da Vinci's journals. "Although I never believed in such things before, there seems to be some guiding force behind what I've been doing. It could be something inside my own mind or something else - I've tried to, but I can't explain it."

Derek is looking for publishers for the books he's working on. One on the Mona Lisa and another on The Last Supper, which he says will shock the art world and help support Dan Brown. He's also finishing a book called Sfumato: Ancient Art Meets Future Innovation, which contains his own art that's he's created digitally from the paintings of Da Vinci and Raphael. "It's been an interesting experience. I've gone a little crazy, lost everything, but found myself. I've never felt more complete. I have so much hope for the future that I can't help but consider everything I've found to be a gift. Hopefully all of this will enable me to do what I really want, which is to help other people."

It will be interesting to see what comes from all his theories, especially since Derek is definitely onto something. He has his research on his website www.itsjustlife.com and says he will keep it updated with his current research, including discovering a new way to view The Last Supper that shows that the feminine looking character is indeed a woman and holding a baby. He insists that this is just a painting and isn't interested in the implications beyond what Da Vinci painted.

Click this here to see an animation of the Mona Lisa and the Painting of Salai merging.

Source: www.itsjustlife.com

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Derek Bair2006-12-06 00:16:07
Wow I just found this! Thanks for the post! I need all the help I can get. The best is yet to come.. keep checking my site itsjustlife.com

Larry2006-12-27 04:16:51
That's just...odd. Also interesting, fascinating, and probably true.

dino2007-03-04 14:30:31
keine Ahnung was da steht aber es scheint interesant zu sein

Tommie2007-06-28 22:32:49
I think this guy is on to something. keep up the good work.

samantha2007-10-26 09:48:14
You are doing great work. when i thought i could solf the mystery i never thought it might be this, but u bet me to findin a good theiory so well done and congrats. i think your on the right track and if you keep it up you will certainly figuire out the mystary.

well done

Micayla2008-02-07 20:43:25
This is amazing, I congradulate you to a great extent for persuing this, Leonardo Da Vinci has fascinated me since I was little girl, Im in my teens and he still fascinates me to a great extent, and I have researched him for stuff similar to this as well, but not to your extent, as I dont have as many resources :P But Im trying. I give you my support in what your doing, and continue this and dont lose hope, it will be worth everything in the end :)

Elka2008-03-25 18:45:40
dobrij den ! kto mozet kupit Salai? kartina prodaetsa ! email: kosmeticbelle@gmail.com podrobnosti vislu na mail .

Vishal2008-10-20 23:14:46
I had the same theory some time back. When I saw Salai as the Baptist portrait I was instantly convinced that this is Mona Lisa. Now the "Mon Salai" theory has given me some hopes. Keep up the good work.

ada2009-04-20 00:20:55
when i saw salai's portreit i knew it was mona lisa,thats obvious,anyone can figure it out,but i hope u can prove it.

Straight Shooter2009-05-22 19:29:53
Derek Bair needs to go to school, I'm sorry. He's completely and totally ignorant of Da Vinci, and don't know him a tenth as well as he thinks he does. Like anyone cares he keeps a ton of notebooks on his so-called life or that he's curious about his world. He needs to get educated on Da Vinci, but that's how it is, though ... all these foolish comments get all the press!

bahle2009-09-03 13:29:49
i have always loved this painting and finaly i know it name

rojer2009-09-11 22:44:17
mona lisa, mona lisa, men have named you ,,,wow thats great a young guy concerned with a suberb subject and trying to give the world some precious historical contributions Da Vinci rules
and so does Derek cheers

Tyler2009-12-01 18:06:46
who would pay money for that ugle woman with no eye brows lol!!!

REVI J2010-01-10 06:19:17
it's a bit confusing but yeah i made mt self ver veri clear now!!!!

Rino2010-12-18 01:17:44
I can't believe this. Who knows, maybe it was Salai. But the idea that rearranging Mona Lisa could spell Mon Salai make me puke. Mona Lisa is a mispelling that has become popular in English speaking countries, in italian it has always been Monna Lisa (Monna is a contraction of Madonna, my lady). A little bit like Ma'm. What a bunch of bozos.

Rose2011-02-03 01:52:20
I think it was a combination of both Da Vinci and Salai...I think it was a symbol of their relationship and the happiness it brought. Among other deeper things of course...but we may never know.

Christine- Cammy2011-02-03 23:53:43
I seriously think Da Vinci did this on purpose to keep us confused and keep his name in his corpse's ears for centuries. I admit he's pretty brilliant, but don't you guys thinks he's clever enough to keep the game going even AFTER death? Curious, maybe about our world. Sly, definitely to mess with our minds. That sly dog, him.

MARLENE2011-02-18 13:32:40

PJ McDaniel2011-04-04 05:39:27
As a painter, it makes sense to use the mathematical format for the "perfect" form whether it be facial features or from head to toe. Why reinvent the wheel when you have a formula for success already created for you?

PJ McDaniel2011-04-04 05:39:27
As a painter, it makes sense to use the mathematical format for the "perfect" form whether it be facial features or from head to toe. Why reinvent the wheel when you have a formula for success already created for you?

Daryl2011-04-10 03:24:01
I cannot believe the astounding amount of grammar errors in this article and the horrible spelling of words in the comments underneath.

Also, instead of saying two paintings "match up" (very ambiguous), you should have explained a bit better.
Judging by the photos posted later, you mean their facial features match up. That's hardly a big deal, and like PJ Mcdaniel mentioned, it was all about the math and ratios of the human form with Da Vinci...should it surprise you that a great ENGINEER would repeat this exact formula in multiple paintings?

I did get a good chuckle out of the arrogance of Derek, however. He really seems quite cocky.
Although I never believed in such things before, there seems to be some guiding force behind what I've been doing. It could be something inside my own mind or something else - I've tried to, but I can't explain it."

As if he is being directed by some diving power. This poor guy is in for a rude awakening later in life.


Daryl2011-04-10 03:27:02

"diving" = Divine

diving power: Divine Power granted to you by Michael Phelps.

Just to clarify :)

Derek Bair2011-08-04 04:49:03
Thanks Daryl, This article is from years ago, and a lot of is is quite embarrassing now. I hope my writing has improved, as well as my grammaer. "Divine guidance" is so not what I meant. The guiding "force" that I couldn't properly explain at the time was actually Leonardo's journals. Nothing supernatural or spiritual about that at all.

And as for the faces "aligning" there is nothing vague about it. The images that are made when the different faces from different paintings are superimposed speak for themselves. The first portrait of Salai hasn't even been credited to Leonardo. So why would it combine with the face of the Mona Lisa and St. John the baptist if it wasn't painted by da Vinci himself? Pretty big coincidence. Leonardo painted and drew faces from many angles. The point isn't that he found a "formula" to paint by. It's what the faces look like when they are superimposed. Thanks for your comments. Appreciated.

Derek Bair2011-08-29 00:46:34
Straight Shooter: posting hurtful and spiteful comments anonymously is kinda pathetic. Just sayin..

mae2011-09-11 19:08:35
this is sooooo interesting, i couldnt stop reading.

Yes2012-02-04 11:53:44
Interesting theory, however the article explains the theory like the young man came up with it himself. He is most definitely not the first, fifth, or fiftieth to think of this. Before he was even born there had been countless comparisons done like this.

nterrigno2012-06-12 22:39:13
This is all astounding and I believe that you have solved the mystery of the MonaLisa / MonSalai smile. In addition, it seems that the young apostle next to Christ at the last supper is also Giacomo. Many have thought is to be a representation of Mary Magdalene because of the long curls and feminine features. This is not a "SangReal" message but a DaVinci depiction of a male model he loved as a gay man.

me franc jr2012-07-14 08:03:10
i loved it im very interested in hidden codes and secrets but i have one question if da vinci has hidden the identity of mon salai in mona lisa does da vinci love mon salai and is da vinci gay????

me franc jr2012-07-14 08:04:54
i would like to congratulate DERECK BAIR for this great story i hope theres more thank u

Nicoli2012-08-04 21:23:42
Muito interessante o quanto Leonardo conseguiu esconder em apenas uma pintura.... Me apaixonei pela Mona Lisa e nao me canso de observá-la e compará-la com Mon Salai...

Sorgina2012-11-19 17:50:35
So me and my friend are in class. dhifseFSOJlDKFJGHDJS TRYING TO FIND WORK ON HIM///

ari2018-05-29 01:51:36
absolutely fascinating, da vinci was a complete genius and it's about time some of us attempted to break down his codes and discover his true identity as a person and inventor.

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