Leonardo da Vinci's Self Portrait
Leonardo da Vinci by Leonardo da Vinci
Year c. 1512
Type: Red chalk on paper
Dimensions: 33.3 cm × 21.6 cm (13.1 in × 8.5 in)
Location: Biblioteca Reale, Turin
There is some debate as to how accurate of a representation this is to what Leonardo really looked like. He wouldn’t have been as old as he looks here when it was drawn. There are also some who say this might not even be by him or be a copy - I am not one of them! I think this totally by Leonardo himself.
This sketch is a lot more complicated and sophisticated that it appears. Since it aligns and combines over the face of the Mona Lisa there would have been some required alterations to his appearance to get it to fit over her face and for their combined faces to alter in a specific way.
This image is more like a mask and a puzzle than a traditional self portrait where the artist tries to represent themselves as accurately as possible. The dark spot towards the middle bottom is where his heart would be - and this is also the exact spot on the Mona Lisa (when it is superimposed) where her heart is as well. It’s also the exact center of the painting and has the most concentration of light. La Joconde - one of the titles “Mona Lisa” had before becoming “Mona Lisa” means “Light hearted” So there is a play on words and meaning with the previous titles. He was one very clever man! So it's hard to "coincidence away" the many enigmas of his art - especially his own self portrait and the Mona Lisa - which he spent almost 20 years painting. Obviously it was important to him. It also has layers of paint that are thinner than a human hair - hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of them. Why?
The art historians will TELL you that the Mona Lisa is just a portrait of Lisa Giacondo. Even though he never gave her the painting, his own face and Salai's face (the painting of Salai and of St. John the Baptist) all align and combine together when they are superimposed. One thing I try to explain in my book (and to myself) is how many coincidences does it take to add up to something being intentional? The art world will tell you that without doubt that the Mona Lisa is a portrait of a real life Lisa G. So why would someone think anything different or believe me? Well they base her identity from tradition and from only a single quote by Vassari (Leonardo's first biographer) but this wasn't written down until many years after Leonardo had died. Before Vassari said it was of "Maddame Lisa G." = "Mona Lisa" It was called: "La Jaconde" "A courtesan in a gauze veil" and "A certain florentine lady."
Lisa G (the real life one who they say it is a portrait of) was not a courtesan. And why would it be called: "A certain" if they know who it was of? Why did Vassari said it was of her? If Leonardo painted it over and over, covering up each layer for almost 20 years - would it still even resemble - or be of her - even if the base coat was? Why does his own self portrait face align with her? Why does it to the same with multiple images of Salai? (His Lover of way over 20 years!)
Lets say you are married and you are an artist. You want to paint a portrait of your husband/ wife. You also paint a self portrait. Now if you placed both your painted face and their painted face OVER each other - would they align perfectly? What if their head was turned a little more titled than yours. What if your eyes were set a little further apart - what if you had a larger jaw- what if your lips were bigger, what if you had a different type of nose? It's hard to imaging taking pictures of siblings or even identical twins accidentally (Coincidentally) and having their faces be exactly the same in two different pictures. Right? My point is that explaining away what some of my book is about as "Coincidental" is difficult the more you research the life of Leonardo and especially his art. I think a lot of times people will spend a lot of time and effort trying to refute something instead of looking at it with an open mind. I also think some people are hesitant and defensive - skeptical about anything "new" - even if it is true.
I've spent the last 7+ years trying to not prove a "theory" but to disprove it. Sometimes people will be so desperate to make something "true" that they will find and use anything they can - even make it up - to "prove it" to make it "true."
My book is titled "Discovering Da Vinci's Daughter" because I DISCOVERED something - I didn't make it up or fabricate it.
So again, how many things do you need to accept something as either true or false? One person could read something and another could read the exact same thing and they will have different opinions about it. Why?
A lot of the trouble with writing a book about something so well known and researched - at the level of being the #1 in the world (Both Leonardo and the Mona Lisa) is that who am I to say something new and different and CONFLICTING with what the "Experts" and art historians and SCHOOL books say? If what I am claiming is true - why hasn't anyone else noticed this before? Who is Derek? What does he know about it?
That's the thing. I didn't know anything about it! I'm a product of the digital and Information Age and i've spent almost ALL of my life on a computer, or behind a tv. I have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures and hundreds of hours of video. I went to college for "Digital Media" and one of my biggest fascinations is with not just technology but cgi - and special effects in movies! I didn't know much about art - and nothing about Renaissance artists or their paintings. I didn't even know much about Leonardo da Vinci - but that's where this book came from. A set of very strange circumstances (Which I explain in the interjections of my book) I ended up scanning and digitally analyzing the Mona Lisa and Leonardo's self portrait. I didn't have a clue who she was "suppose" to be, or how she was painted - or anything about it. BUT when I did have a clue on was digital image processing and enhancement. I had worked on thousands of images in Photoshop and on the computer - and was very knowledgable and experienced in that medium. So what happened is that I started to play with Leonardo da Vinci's art - I was like - WTF?! This is in 3d, this is a stereogram, this animates itself! Things that are common place today but were not thought to be invented until around 100 years ago - Leonardo was from over 500 years ago when they didn't even have light bulbs let alone auto-stereoscopic computer screens - scanners - OR photography.
So I started to read his journals and I was like - omfg~! He is describing in complete and utter detail modern imaging technology and even how our vision system operates. Down to the complexity of a SINGLE ray of light!
He was so smart and knowledgable about these things (and thats only one area he was versed in) that if we could teleport him to today - he could teach US things that we do not know about holograms and fractals and light and gravity and the moon! But how do I know this?? Because I read it in his notebooks! Why hasn't anyone else noticed this before you? - Because I am an obsessive nerd who just so happened to have the skill set to notice what was NOT suppose to be there.
So if this is real and you are right why haven't I heard about it? - Cause I am still finishing my book and I am not advertising or marketing or "announcing" it yet.
And to be honest I am slightly autistic (more about that will be in my book too) It's very difficult me to approach or interact with anyone. If you were to meet me you might not even notice - but that is because I am not "retarded" I know exactly how to act and the proper social etiquette - etc. But I DO NOT want to be there, I do not like to meet new people, Shaking people's hands really freaks me out, I dont see the point! I would literally rather jump out of a plane or be locked up by myself for a week than even hang out with some of my best friends. I understand that I shouldn't have to feel that way or blah blah whatever - I just can't control it. Where as most people will get lonely and anxious if they spent too much time alone - I will get 100x's more anxious if I had to hang out with someone! You can imagine how someone on a plane - who has a phobia about flying - would be nervous and anxious for the entire flight - both before and during and after? That is exactly how I feel with EVERY single social interaction that isn't just my Mom. I literally get anxious going to the grocery store, or out to a movie - while i'm alone! just cause I will have to interact with someone at the register!
But that is only what is going on INSIDE my head, on the outside I'm nice and funny and friendly - and you would have no idea the battle that is going on. "How am I sounding, what Should I talk about, am I dressed appropriately? Where should I be looking when they are talking to me - their left or right eye - to the side? How should I be acting? Should I make facial expressions? Should I NOT? How does my breath smell - am I close enough that it matters? Am I sweating, did i wear deodorant? and the most constant thought is: When can I leave!"
What I'm saying is that some people have things that come easy to them - and other things that are not just hard but REALLLY difficult. I could sit and watch something about magnetism and how it influences space and time, how light travels through different surfaces, I could watch someone getting an open heart surgery and a breast lift - and I could describe those procedures and how they work. I could name every production car in the United States, I can recommend 200 movies you should see. I know the lyrics to hundreds of songs. I can theorize about time travel and evolution. All of that comes naturally and is easy for me. I am a reallllly smart person in that regard. I memorize the facts about the most random things ever - and they stick to my mind like glue. You could put almost any animal in front of me and I would be able to tell you what their diet is, their gestation period, I could draw you their skeletal structure, and even where they are on the "Tree of life" I am not just good with animals I am the animal whisperer - i am the "beast master"! I'll interact with the birds in the back yard in such a way that it freaks THEM out, they are like "omg this human understands me!" I'm writing something about "Universal Bird behavior" - I know animals like the back of my hand and I was born that way. I could walk over and pick up chickens or ducks that would run from anyone else. I could ride horses that would throw anyone who rode them off - and never fall off. My horse (sugar) has knocked off at least 5 different people - almost anyone who had ridden her - but you know how many times I fell off of her? 0. When she was pregnant she let me milk her even! My dog Spencer - has bitten almost everyone who has ever been to my house, how many times had she bitten me? 0!
My adoration, obsession, and admiration with animals is so intense that if I had to decide between ever having an animal or a relationship - or watch tv again, or listen to music, or drive a car - I would choose animals without much hesitation.
But you know what happens when a human is in front of me? Not only do I not understand them, but they freak me out! It's literally almost as bad as someone who is phobic of spiders - having to interact with it and PRETEND that everything is completely ok.
So yeah, this started out as a post about Leonardo's Self Portrait and became what it became. If you liked it, and found it interesting - then you will LOVE my book. I'm working VERY hard to make sure YOU do.
So the moral of this "story" is that you should not assume that you need someone else - an "authority" or "expert" to tell you what it true and what is not. Make up your own mind - it is the only thing that is yours - and completely your own. Embrace it and put it on the highest petastul possible! How do you spell petastool? My spell check can't even figure it out.
Derek Ronaldo Gugliamana da Grande Sopportare- out!
@derekbair | derekbair.tumblr.com | itsjustlife.com