Tuesday, December 16, 2003Historians have recently discovered that a few years before Leonardo da Vinci created his legendary Mona Lisa, he had painted a different version using another model.
After years of intensive artistic labor, Leonardo cried out in ecstasy at the climactic completion of his masterpiece - "bellisima!"
However, upon donning his new pair of spectacles purchased from an itinerant Chinese merchant, Leonardo realized his assistant had dialed the wrong Model from the Florence Bell phonebook - and that he had not actually portrayed the young wife of Francesco di Bartolommeo di Zanobi del Giocondo, one of the Italian city's noblest citizens.
Realizing he was at imminent risk of being whacked by Francesco's hitmen, Leonardo promptly fired his nearsighted assistant and used this painting to patch the hole in his drafty outhouse.
Sotheby's had attempted to sell this older, rougher version several times, but no takers, so far.
[Note: This post will be funny to only about two dozen people in the known universe. - Ed.]