Monday, May 31, 2010

Salai as John the Baptist

Painting: Salai as John the Baptist (1514), Louvre

For the painting of John the Baptist, Leonardo da Vinci used his pupil Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed Salai, as a model. Salai entered Leonardo's household in 1490, in a year, Leonardo made a list of his misdemeanors (a thief, a liar, stubborn, and a glutton) after he had made off with money and valuables on at least five occasions and spent a fortune on clothes. Still, Leonardo treated him with great indulgence and Salai lived in his house for the next thirty years. Salai executed a number of paintings under the name of Andrea Salai.

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