Saint John the Baptist by Leonardo Da Vinci has to be one of the most thought provoking paintings I have ever seen in real. It hangs at Louvre, Paris in its Grande Galerie not very far from the famous Mona Lisa by the same master painter. The thick black backdrop with a cross adds another layer to the mystical figure in the front. The smirk on Saint John's face is similar to Mona Lisa, but there are two more mysteries to this painting which makes it a very interesting subject to the onlooker. The first mystery is the androgynous look of the figure, the strong shoulders and hint of well built back gives a clear signal of a male form, but then all this is overshadowed by the much visible soft face and long curly hair. Its almost like a female head is placed on a male torso, but with a touch of delicate sway in the body, almost like its dancing with the finger pointed towards the high heaven. The second mystery is the teasing gesture of the finger with the risque smile. The picture appears to be saying 'see you there', which might just have a meaning because it is said to be Leonardo's last painting.
The beauty of this painting is definitely the amalgamation of both sexes, a very controversial theme for those times.
But well Leonardo Da Vinci succeeded big way in mixing androgyny with religion in most of his paintings, which should definitley inspire few of us who still crinkle noses to such inevitable subjects.