According to new findings by British art critic Ross King, who is the author of the international bestseller Brunelleschi's Dome, Leonardo da Vinci styled two of the apostles in the painting 'The Last Supper', including Thomas, in his likeness.
Many art connoisseurs for time had suspected da Vinci may have immortalized himself in one of his paintings, following similar practices by renowned artists Andrea Mantegna, Benozzo Gozzoli and perhaps even Michelangelo in his Sistine Chapel fresco.
To date, however, noone had identified where this could have taken place.
"So far, no-one had scoured the Last Supper for a portrait of Leonardo," King said in an interview with the Independent newspaper. King points to proof of the existence of the alleged two self-portraits in the painting in a poem written by a friend of the artist, Gasparo Visconti, in the 1400s. The verses of the text contain references to a possible insertion of self-portraits in the paintings, according to King.
The art expert also points to a sepia portrait of Leonardo drawn by one of his assistants, showing he had a Greek nose, long hair and a beard, all "rarities for an Italian man of that period". The two apostles in the Last Supper also have these characteristics, King claims.