I just want to clarify something.
I have absolutely no idea whether Leonardo meant anything by the way he painted 'the beloved disciple'.
I have no idea who the model was ~ male or female.
I have no idea whether 'John' only looks a bit girlish because we are looking through modern eyes.
I am not arguing for or against the idea that Leonardo was presenting 'the beloved disciple' as a female ~ Mary Magdalene.
I am simply saying that people are asking the questions and they have the right to do so.
By asking questions, we gain insight and knowledge.
Experts may think that they have all the answers, but that is not necessarily so.
If experts become blinkered to possibilities, then knowledge may stagnate.
I respect the knowledge of experts, but I do think that they need to keep their minds open to alternative ideas.
That's all, really.
I am interested in the information that I have gained through the thread, though.