One of the famous pupils of Leonardo Da Vinci, Gian Giacomo Caprotti was a prodigy who became his assistant of Leonardo Da Vinci at the age of ten. Even though he wasn't considered to be a competent painter of his time and his works were thought to be above average, he managed to put his name permanently on the dusty book of history. Then how do we know his name if the past has engulfed so many above-average painters into its dead well and not Salai? We know his name, particularly his nickname ''Salai'', because of his alleged homosexual relationship with Leonardo Da Vinci. Vasari, in his work, called ''Life of the Artists'' describes Salai as ''a graceful and beautiful youth with curly hair, in which Leonardo greatly delighted''. This is Vasari's description of Salai but interestingly Leonardo da Vinci described him as ''a liar, a thief, stubborn and a glutton''. There must be something so enchanting about him that Leonardo kept him by his side for more than 25 years and trained him as an artist, it could be said that his nickname Salai, which translates as ''little devil'', is perfectly fit. Rumour has it Leonardo da Vinci used Salai as a model for his paintings, particularly Bacchus and St. John the Baptist.
Some even said that he was also the mysterious model of the Mona Lisa. Unfortunately, Salai and Leonardo da Vinci weren't together throughout both of their lives. Salai left Leonardo a year before Leonardo died and he married a woman called Bianca Coldirodi d'Annono when he was 43 years old. One year after his marriage, Salai died after receiving a fatal blow from a crossbow in a duel.
What's left from Salai is his alleged relationship with Leonardo da Vinci, his works such as the painting called Monna Vanna, a nude version of Mona Lisa, and his painting of Jesus Christ which is called Head of Christ the Redeemer.