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Historian’s Claim Leonardo Da Vinci Was Half-Chinese Sets Chinese Internet on Fire

Posted: 12/5/2014 11:26 am

mona lisaThe theory that Chinese culture may have been a fundamental part of the Renaissance has set the Chinese internet on fire. An Italian historian has suggested that Leonardo da Vinci’s mother was Chinese and his famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was based on a Chinese slave.

Angelo Paratico, an Italian novelist and historian currently based in Hong Kong, made the connection in an interview. He is currently working on a book, “Leonardo da Vinci: A Chinese Scholar Lost in Renaissance Italy”.

Paratico cited Sigmund Freud’s hypothesis that the Mona Lisa is based upon Da Vinci’s mother to suggest that the model used in the famous masterpiece was Chinese as well. In defense of his theory, Paratico said the Mona Lisa has a Chinese background and that the Mona Lisa “looks Chinese”.

Not many details have been confirmed about Catarina, the mother of the 15th century artist, mathematician and inventor. But speculation over her ethnicity has inflamed the interest of the Chinese internet, clearly piqued at the suggestion that da Vinci could have been half-Chinese. Netizens have posted numerous Photoshops of the Mona Lisa featuring faces very familiar to a Chinese audience.

One user said, “I now understand why her smile looks so mysterious and concealed — it’s typically Chinese.”

Paternity of important historical figures is an important issue to proud Chinese netizens. Previous online discussions of nationality have centered around the issue of whether or not Confucius is Korean.

Photos: People’s Daily Online

  • kickyourass

    does people have better thing to do, instead of digging the useless mother’s background…. what an international joke !

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