Man has ‘sexual relationship’ with Mona Lisa and dreams of having sex with her

An artist whose work hangs in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries says he owns his success to his “sexual relationship” with the Mona Lisa.

Spanish painter Domingo Zapata says he dreams of having sex with the woman in the iconic 1503 painting by Leonardo da Vinci every night.

The painting, known as La Gioconda in Italy, is one of the most recognisable artworks in the world. It’s believed to have been a portrait of Florentine noblewoman Lisa Gherardini and would have been commissioned by her husband, a prosperous silk merchant.

Domingo says he’s been obsessed with the masterpiece for over 15 years, and has made 26 of his own unique takes on Leonardo’s painting.

“When I was painting her so much, I would dream and I have a sexual relationship with her. You can’t stop where it's taking you,” Domingo told The Sun.

Two of his Mona Lisa paintings have sold for over a million dollars, with Hollywood star Leonardo di Caprio narrowly missing out in the bidding for the most recent one, “Mona Lisa Bull Fighter”.

Domingo says the shock of hearing that his painting had sold for $1,027,000 made him physically sick.

“I was so nervous I threw up on myself,” he says. “I used a napkin to cover my shirt, ran to the pool shower where I took my tuxedo off and left my shirt on.

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Asked about his fascination with the image, Domingo says: "I am having sex with her in my dreams – if I was not having sex with her I would have quit a long time ago".

The original Mona Lisa was never delivered to the man that commissioned it. Instead Da Vinci kept in in his studio, leaving it on his death to one of his apprentices who later sold it to Francis I of France.

"Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa, aged 48, and travelled across Europe, working on it for years before King Francis bought it,” says Domingo. “Even then it wasn't ready, but he never really finished it”.

Francis kept the painting in his steamy bathroom, permanently damaging it, but it was put on display in The Louvre in 1797.

The Mona Lisa didn't immediately become world famous, although it always had its admirers.

Artist Luc Maspero became so obsessed with the woman in the picture that he chose to end his life because he could not be with her. Maspero “threw himself from the fourth-floor window of his Paris hotel, leaving a note that said, ‘For years I have grappled desperately with her smile. I prefer to die.’ ”

The Mona Lisa was stolen by a museum employee in 1911, and in the 28 months before it was recovered thousands of tourist came to stare at the blank spot where it had been.

The thief, Vincenzo Peruggia, told a court: “I fell victim to her smile. I fell in love with her.”

In the mid-1950s a man who claimed to be in love with the painting slashed it with a razor blade, prompting museum administrators to permanently shield the priceless artwork behind a pane of bulletproof glass.

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