I know that John's features are often effeminate in such paintings ~ I have given a link to quite a few, myself, above.
I accept that Leonardo may also have painted a young man with effeminate features.
I accept that Leonardo used the pronoun 'he' in his notes.
However, since he did not paint 'John' as sketched in his notes, he must have had a change of mind.
Who knows how far that change of mind went?
We do not have all of his notes.
I think that the way 'John' looks is important because 'he' looks like other people painted by Leonardo.
Admittedly, he looks a bit like Leonardo's picture(s) of John the Baptist, but he looks more like his pictures of 'the Virgin Mary' in the 'Madonna of the Rocks' paintings.
Perhaps he used a female model.
Perhaps he used two related models ~ one make & one female ~ who looked alike. Maybe that is the explanation.
As for his personal diaries and notebooks, having been arrested once, he might have had to be especially careful in future.
Last edited by PDM; 01/24/09 06:47 PM. Reason: typo