Leonardo Da Vinci
Mona Lisa – Da Vinci’s Greatest Innovation
Mona Lisa is widely considered to be the greatest portrait of all time it appears in countless advertisements has inspired poetry sculpture forgeries and theft but seriously why the Painting is small only 30”x 21” the color is somber the background seems desolate and eerie and the subject isn’t anyone historically significant about her mystifying gaze and a quirky smile. Da Vinci’s greatest Innovation here is the relaxed and informal three-quarter pose (3/4) of the subject although Mona Lisa’s pose may seem commonplace and almost trivial today. It was revolutionary in the early 16th century Prior portraits were stiff and contrived and mainly consisted of profiles. This pose established a new style of portrait painting that is still the de facto standard today over 500 years later. The pyramidal composition of the portrait is also a da Vinci innovation notice the wide base of the painting which appears heavier than the top. Mona Lisa’s hands form the front corner of the pyramid your eye is drawn to the top of the painting in that infamous enigmatic smile. Furthermore, most portraits of the time were full-length da Vinci’s more intimate cropping was immediately imitated by Masters such as Raphael Soir motto is Italian for blended with connotations of Smoky. Leonardo coined the term to explain his technique of layering translucent layers of color to create the appearance of depth volume and form. The blending of colors becomes so subtle that the gradations are hardly perceptible. The area around her eyes as well as her hair and her scarf has a semi translucent. Smoky feel but give the painting a sense of movement. The technique is also used in the background to create a sense of harmony between the sitter and the landscape. Keep in mind that this was a completely new technique that added a sense of realism that was utterly.
Unparalleled in its time Leonardo’s love of Rocky Landscapes as seen in several of his painting note here is how the two landscapes on either side of Mona Lisa’s head are a physical impossibility. He landscape on the left is noticeably lower than the landscape on the right. This is also one of the first portraits to use an imaginary landscape. Lastly the fact that the background becomes hazy, and more out-of-focus as distance increases was a major breakthrough that added to the realism of the painting. Paintings of this time created equal levels of detail in the foreground and background.
Most experts agree that overzealous cleaning removed the eyebrows which were added after the paint dried, regardless poor cleaning techniques. Definitely caused the greenish hue of her skin tone however Leonardo was known for more somber color palettes than his contemporaries. The mystery of the smile is what makes the painting so engaging? This work introduced several revolutionary painting techniques displayed a supreme mastery of technique by its artists and continues to inspire intrigue in many who view it is safe to say that Leonardo’s Masterpiece, will likely remain as one of the greatest portraits of all time.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci: Analysis and Interpretation
The portrait shows the subject sitting upright and sideways in a chair, with her face and chest turned slightly towards the viewer. Her left arm sits comfortably on the armrest of the chair and is clasped by the hand of her right arm which crosses her front. The slightly protective position of her arms, as well as the armrest, creates a sense of distance between sitter and spectator. The background landscape behind the sitter was created using aerial perspective, with its smoky blues and no clearly defined vanishing point. It gives the composition significant depth, although its details reveal a clear imbalance between the higher rocky horizon to the right, compared to the lower flatlands stretching away on the left. This imbalance adds to the slightly surreal atmosphere of the picture. This was not a deliberate act of the artist, as scans indicate that originally, she was given both. It is possible that the colors pigment used for these facial features has since faded or been inadvertently removed during cleaning.
The Mona Lisa exemplifies Leonardo’s contribution to the art of oil painting, namely his mastery of the use of fine shading. This painterly technique involves the smooth, almost imperceptible, transition from one color to another, by means of ultra-subtle tonal gradations. Another slightly surreal feature of the Mona Lisa is her lack of eyebrows and eyelashes. Evident throughout the painting, Leonardo’s use of use of fine shading is particularly visible in the soft contouring of Lisa’s face, around the eyes and mouth. The serenity comes from the muted color scheme, the soothing use of fine shading tonality, and the harmony created by the sitter’s pyramid-shaped pose and understated drapery. The mystery stems from a number of factors: first, her enigmatic half-smile; second, her gaze, which is directed to the right of the viewer; her hands which have a slightly unreal, lifeless quality – almost as if they belonged to a different body. The painting was among the first portraits to depict the sitter before an imaginary landscape and Leonardo was one of the first painters to use aerial perspective.
The enigmatic woman is portrayed seated in what appears to be an open loggia with dark pillar bases on either side. Behind her, a vast landscape recedes to icy mountains. Winding paths and a distant bridge give only the slightest indications of human presence. The sensuous curves of the woman’s hair and clothing, created through sfumato, are echoed in the undulating imaginary valleys and rivers behind her. The blurred outlines, graceful figure, dramatic contrasts of light and dark, and overall feeling of calm are characteristic of da Vinci’s style. Due to the expressive synthesis that da Vinci achieved between sitter and landscape, it is arguable whether Mona Lisa should be considered as a traditional portrait, for it represents an ideal rather than a real woman. The sense of overall harmony achieved in the painting especially apparent in the sitter’s faint smile reflects the idea of a link connecting humanity and nature.
An Originality of Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci: A man whose name will forever be associated with art. Born on April 15th, 1452, da Vinci’s life was spent creating various works of art that are now today considered priceless. With creations such as “The Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper” da Vinci unknowingly etched his name into history books and art books alike for generations to follow. His spectacular eye for the arts, which allowed him to create his masterpieces, has made his name famous forever.
Today, the world knows Leonardo da Vinci as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, painters that has ever walked the earth. However, there is much more to the man behind the paintbrush then people might think. As well as a painter, the Italian was a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. From a young age, da Vinci was exposed to art. Da Vinci was educated early on in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. With a majority of his early work created in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan, he later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice. Da Vinci spent the final years of his life in France at his home given to him by King Francois I. Nicknamed “Renaissance Man” by “Leonardo Da Vinci – The Complete Works”, da Vinci, whose astounding curiosity in which was only matched by his impeccable creativity, is one of the greatest painters of all time.
Starting with “The Mona Lisa”, painted by da Vinci dating from 1503-1506, this piece, which is an oil painting on cottonwood, is one of the most well known paintings in existence. Ironic enough, the Mona Lisa is one of the most well known paintings in the world and today it is still unknown who the woman in the painting is. Who is Mona Lisa? According to “History Lists” who displays the traditional and most believed theory that the woman in the painting is the wife of Florentine citizen Francesco del Gioncondo. The elegant smile on Mona Lisa’s face remains up for speculation as well. However, it is and most likely will remain entirely unknown who the woman in da Vinci’s painting truly is. Strangely enough, the Mona Lisa was actually viewed as just another painting by an artist who is now dead for the longest time. That all changed in 1911. Italian handyman Vincenzo Peruggia stole the Mona Lisa from Louvre in 1911. At that point, Peruggia could have never guessed that her absence would be the thing that would make her the most recognizable and famous painting in the world. After she was stolen, images of the artwork spread throughout the world and were pasted across the covers of international newspapers. In December 1913, after a two-year police hunt, Peruggia was finally brought to justice and the Mona Lisa was recovered and brought home where now, according to Sheena McKenzie of USA Today, she attracts millions of visitors. “Today, she is the jewel in Louvre’s crown, helping attract over 9.7 million visitors to the Paris museum later that year” (McKenzie). “The Mona Lisa”, which was originally just another artwork in the world, has now become the worlds most well known pieces of art thanks to Mr. Peruggia.
Furthermore, “The Last Supper” by da Vinci is another one of his pieces of work, which is known today throughout the world. The tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic painting, which was created dating from 1495-1497, depicts Jesus Christ explaining to his twelve disciples that one of them would soon betray him. That man was Judas Iscariot. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times reports that The Last Supper was the first well-known painting generated by Leonardo da Vinci and that it was the first work of art he created that lived up to his hype. “By the age of 42 (in an era in which life expectancy was 40), Leonardo da Vinci had yet to create anything commensurate with his lofty ambitions… Ross King writes in his new book, “Leonardo and ‘The Last Supper”. ‘He had produced only a few scattered paintings, a bizarre-looking music instrument, some ephemeral decorations for masques and festivals and many hundreds of pages of notes and drawings for studies he had not yet published, or for inventions he had not yet built”’ (Kakutani). Up until the creation of The Last Supper, which very well could have slingshot his career into motion with the creation of the Mona Lisa after The Last Supper, da Vinci just had several paintings that had no significance to them at all. The creation of The Last Supper catapulted his artist career into motion. Thanks to The Last Supper’s creation, Leonardo da Vinci became the artist that we now know today. Da Vinci will forever have a very sacred place in the art community as well as a very permanent place in global history books.
Leonardo da Vinci is one of the world’s most famous artists and his pieces of work will forever be remembered and looked back on by generations to come. His infinite amount of creativity backed up by his astounding skill with a paintbrush has put him in a class of his own regarding art. His pieces “The Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper” which are profoundly well known throughout the world are simply eye-opening pieces of work as well as other pieces created by da Vinci such as “Vitruvian Man” which is simply just a doodle of a man, his wingspan, and a perfect circle drawn around him, just add to the rich heritage that follows the name Leonardo da Vinci. Personally, my favorite piece of da Vinci’s work is The Last Supper. Being that I am a religious person and frequently spend time learning about God and Christianity, I found The Last Supper to be a very interesting image to look at. When you view the picture, and you realize what is going on, that Jesus has just explained to his twelve disciples that one of them will soon betray him, you get to see the different reactions from each disciple. Some look at others in disgust, some work with others to try to figure out which one will be the one to commit the evil act and some just flat out have no reaction whatsoever. To me, The Last Supper painting really comes alive, and when I view it, my mind begins to run wild with theories about what each individual disciple has on their mind after learning the horrible news that one of them will soon betray Jesus Christ. Ever since I was in Sunday school as a young child, I remember repeatedly listening to the story of Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross and how Judas was the man, who betrayed him by reporting him to the Romans, where they took him, mercilessly beat him and then placed him on a cross to die. Leonardo da Vinci is one of the world’s greatest artists have ever lived and his name and world will be remembered and taught to younger generations forever.
A Mystery of Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci
Mona Lisa is a mystery among many, from her smile to her pregnancy theory, but the major mystery itself is who was Mona Lisa. The poser is believed to be da Vinci’s mother, Caterina; Princess Isabella of Naples; a Spanish noble woman named Costanza d’ Avalos; an unnamed courtesan; a younger version of Leonardo da Vinci himself; his apprentice Salaí; an alien; a hermaphrodite; Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo or simply a man. (Nix) No one truly knows who Mona Lisa is as these are all theories, some with more evidence than others. What is known is that the Mona Lisa is the best recognized, most visited and famous painting in the world painted by Leonardo da Vinci on an oil pastel on a popular panel between 1503 and 1506. (Wonderopolis) However, based off the news articles, countless years of research and documentaries it is best to conclude that the Mona Lisa is most likely Lisa Giocondo.
Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo or Lisa Giocondo for short was a wealthy silk merchant’s wife that had 5 children. She is the leading contender for the Mona Lisa. Her husband supposedly wanted her to pose as Mona Lisa to have Leonardo da Vinci commemorate her being pregnant with their 5th child. “The English title ‘Mona Lisa’ comes from the subject’s name and the Italian word ‘mona’ that means ‘my lady.’”(Wonderopolis) In French her last name, “La Joconde”, means happy or jovial. The evidence beyond her being a lady, and her name fitting the role, a note was found by Agostino Vespucci written in 1503 claiming Lisa Giocondo was the poser for the Mona Lisa. (Wikipedia)
Leonardo’s mother, Caterina has also been claimed to be the Mona Lisa. “Sigmund Freud claimed that the iconic painting was inspired by da Vinci’s mother, in his 1910 essay, “A Childhood Reminiscence of Leonardo da Vinci.” (Muñoz-Alonso) An art historian, Angelo Paratico states that he believes a Chinese landscape depicts the paintings background and that Mona Lisa’s face looks Chinese. Caterina is believed to be a Chinese oriental slave that gave birth to Leonardo in 1452. She had to be removed from her home because of an improper relationship with her master, but its believed that she reunited with her son and then posed for the Mona Lisa.
Leonardo was an artist of his century and many more yet to come; his painting, the Mona Lisa, changed the way the world views art. “Leonardo viewed Mona Lisa as his masterpiece drawn from peace, sincerity, nature and fascination brought out with her portrait amongst the streams, broken rocks and winding paths.” (Ripley 44) “Perhaps it was the knowing smile of Leonardo himself, for he wrote in his ‘Treatise on Painting’ that the painter is so influenced by his own character that ‘it guides the painter’s arm and makes him reproduce himself.’” (Ripley 44) “When Leonardo began the portrait of the young woman, Mona Lisa was 24, and she was 30 when the portrait was finished.” (Ripley 44) The painter Leonardo was very fond of him and took time with his works, which is why some people say he copied a portrait of himself in the likeness of a woman.
Salaí was one of Leonardo da Vinci’s apprentices. He is the one that ended up with the Mona Lisa before it went to King Francis I of France and then a museum in Paris. (Wikipedia) Salaí loved painting nude pictures of the Mona Lisa such as the “Monna Vanna”. (Wikipedia) Salaí is known to have facial features very similar to the Mona Lisa regarding his nose and mouth placement compared to the portrait. “Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Orena is Salaí’s real name that translates to “The Devil, and “The little unclean one.” (Wikipedia) Salaí in the end was the 2nd lead poser of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa because he became his life long servant at 10 and possible love interest.
My stance on the conspiracy theory is that the Mona Lisa is obviously a woman of mystery and misconception. Her poser is Lisa Giocondo or Leonardo himself. Lisa Giocondo has more concrete evidence than Leonardo himself such as documentation and recent fingerprints they found in Leo’s home. “Is the Mona Lisa an ‘accurate’ representation of the actual human model for the painting? Who knows? Who cares? It’s a great piece of art. It moves us. It makes us wonder, makes us gape – finally makes us look inward at ourselves.” (Tim O’brien) The Mona Lisa in my book will always be a mind-bending piece that changed the world.
At first, someone may glance at the Mona Lisa and notice her smile, but then contemplate who she really is. No matter how much evidence a person may display there will always be conspirists amongst the Mona Lisa. Lisa, Caterina, Leonardo himself and Salaí as posers are all just theories some tested more than others. “Every work of art belongs to his time. I would not paint again the Mona Lisa in the third dimension.”
(Alejandro Jodorowsky) A painting questioned numerous times, confirmed to be Lisa Giocondo, a mystery or conspiracy sometimes gets an end, but with who posed for the Mona Lisa, its what you make of it.
“Mona Lisa”by Leonardo Da Vinci and “Woman with a Flower”by Pablo Picasso: What Do They Have in Common
For this paper I am comparing “Mona Lisa” done by Leonardo da Vinci from 1503-1507 and “Woman with a Flower” done by Pablo Picasso in 1932. In terms of line, both works are similar in that they both use curved lines to show the shapes of the subject. The lines used in “Woman with a Flower” are generally thicker and less “realistic” than the lines in “Mona Lisa.” Both works have organic shapes; however there are geometric shapes in “Woman with a Flower” as well. The shapes in that painting are less realistic than those in da Vinci’s. “Mona Lisa” and “Woman with a Flower” both have positive and negative space-the woman’s skin in “Mona Lisa” is negative space compared to her dark clothing, as the light colored shapes (the white circles and light purple, yellow, green, and orange shapes) also demonstrate negative space against the dark brown and black background. Picasso does little to show foreground, middle ground, and background-the only space there is developed by his shading and overlapping of the objects-otherwise they generally look two-dimensional. Da Vinci, on the other hand, thoroughly develops space because he sets the woman in the foreground, and then adds landscaping that extends behind her to demonstrate middle ground and background.
The only form portrayed in “Woman with a Flower” is the three-dimensional white spheres in the center and the purple object on the left. Da Vinci uses form in “Mona Lisa” where he paints the woman so that she looks three-dimensional and orchestrates the landscape behind her so that it, too, looks three-dimensional. Da Vinci uses overall more neutral, natural, and darker hues in “Mona Lisa” than Picasso does in “Woman with a Flower.” The intensity of the colors in “Woman with a Flower” is greater and the “Mona Lisa” has more dark values than “Woman with a Flower.” The texture of “Mona Lisa” seems realistic and natural, while the main texture in “Woman with a Flower” appears to be smooth. The variety in “Mona Lisa” was shown in the emphasis on the lightness of her skin against the darkness of the background. Picasso also used variety in the different colors of his painting; however he also used it in the strange shapes of his painting. Da Vinci uses movement in “Mona Lisa” by arranging his subject so that the viewer’s eyes travel from her facial expression down to her folded arms at the bottom. Picasso doesn’t add much movement in “Woman with a Flower,” the shapes and colors seemed to be scattered somewhat randomly throughout the piece.
Da Vinci creates asymmetrical balance in “Mona Lisa” because he positions the background and the main subject so that there is an equal amount of weight on each side, left and right, of his painting. Picasso also creates asymmetrical balance in his painting; the weight of the objects is even on either side of it. Both paintings have a sense of unity; in “Mona Lisa” it is through the realism and the neutral shades of color used, while in “Woman with a Flower” it is through the oddly shaped objects and the bright colors he used. In “Woman with a Flower,” Picasso creates rhythm through his shapes. He repeats the purple shape twice throughout his work; one is slightly different than the other. He also repeats the white sphere shape twice in the center of his painting, and there is a similar object slightly to the right. In “Mona Lisa,” Da Vinci creates rhythm in the folds of the woman’s sleeves and in the overall colors and shapes of the painting. He also repeats tree shapes in the background of the piece. Da Vinci uses emphasis in his painting by making the lightest part of the painting the woman’s face. He crafts her expression so that the viewer feels compelled to concentrate on her and consider why she has that expression.
Picasso uses emphasis in his painting by making the face of the woman surrounded by brighter, more patterned objects than those around them. He draws the viewer’s eyes to her face in that way, and also through the very small eyes and mouth of her face, which are different than the rest of the piece. In “Mona Lisa,” Da Vinci patterns the wrinkles of the woman’s sleeves and the trees in the background of the painting. He also patterns the small curls of her hair towards the ends. In “Woman with a Flower,” Picasso patterns the sphere shapes and the colors yellow, purple, green, white. He also uses the color black for all of his lines.
The subject matter of both paintings is a woman. These pieces are very similar in subject matter, yet very different in many other ways. While both have the same subject matter, the emotion of the subjects are different. The woman in “Mona Lisa” seems very simple and mysterious, while looking happy and smug. The woman in “Woman with a Flower” looks as if Picasso wanted her to appear surprised and happy, inferred from the “O” shape of her mouth and the bright colors he used. I think the meaning of “Mona Lisa” was so that Da Vinci could show that mystery and beauty could be portrayed in even a simple, plain woman. I think the meaning of “Woman with a Flower” was for Picasso to show that beauty could be portrayed in a very abstract, “random” method known as surrealism. The woman he portrayed in the painting later became pregnant with his child, suggesting this painting demonstrated his feelings for her.
The Impact of Leonardo Da Vinci Paintings
Leonardo da Vinci was a true genius who graced this world. Da Vinci lived in a golden age of creativity among such contemporaries as Raphael and Michelangelo, and contributed his unique genius. Leonardo da Vinci was born in a Tuscan hamlet near Vinci. Da Vinci not only developed his skill in drawing, painting and sculpting during his apprenticeship, but through others working in and around the studio, he picked up knowledge in such diverse fields as mechanics, carpentry, metallurgy, architectural drafting and chemistry. Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings would become an essential part of his legacy. Da Vinci sketched prolifically, planning inventions, exploring human anatomy, drawing landscapes, and blocking out plans for paintings such as The Virgin of the Rocks and his sole surviving mural, The Last Supper. Much of his other creative output during his time with Verrocchio was credited to the master of the studio although the paintings were collaborative efforts. Although a member of the Florence painters’ guild as of 1472, the artist continued his studies with Verrocchio as an assistant until 1476. The influences of his master are evident in the remarkable vitality and anatomical correctness of the Leonardo paintings and drawings. Leonardo da Vinci received a commission to paint his “Adoration of the Magi” from Florence church elders who planned to use it as an altarpiece. Leonardo began creating his most well-known and replicated work, Mona Lisa, a couple of years later when he received a commission from Francesco del Giaconda to paint his wife.
Leonardo da Vinci is famous for a wide range of accomplishments within diverse fields and practices. He was considered a brilliant painter, inventor, scientist, philosopher, engineer and early medical researcher by his peers. With regard to the field of art, historians and scholars agree that Leonardo da Vinci paintings have not only produced a strong impact in the art world, but also boast the extent of this artist’s versatility.
Da Vinci was first and foremost a master painter, whose work is an excellent example of Italian Renaissance concepts, techniques, and typical subject material of the 15th and 16th century. Like other Renaissance painters, da Vinci concentrated on religious or semi-religious iconography for his themes, but he also did portraiture, which was an important part of his income during his life.
What makes Leonardo da Vinci paintings stand out from the work of his peers and contemporaries Many would say that it is due to his paintings unique effect on viewers ultimately caused by his impressive scientific approach toward his work.
For example, he was one of the few artists who mastered the concept of the vanishing point which involves creating a remarkable sense of depth and three-dimensionality in a two-dimensional frame by drawing strong diagonal lines that intersect in the painting’s background. A great illustration of this technique can be found in one of his most famous paintings, ‘The Last Supper The room in which Jesus and his disciples are sitting appears symmetrical and realistic a perfect representation of three-dimensional space whereby the walls seem to be converging inwards.
Da Vinci experimented with perspective to create unforgettable impressions of people and places. For example, in what is perhaps the most recognized portrait in the world, ‘Mona Lisa, viewers feel that the woman in the painting is watching them, regardless of their position in relation to the frame. Furthermore, her mysterious smile seems to suggest a thought. Gazing at Mona Lisa is an eerie experience that can only be felt when looking at the original as some of the effect is lost in reproductions. Many deem her partial smile to be the cause of her unsettling effect on viewers, while others attribute it to her unavoidable eyes. In any case, Mona Lisa’s portrait is an unforgettable, intimate viewing experience.
Aside from ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Mona Lisa’, Leonardo da Vinci created many other notable works, causing tremendous impact on his peers and the style of future artists. One such masterpiece is ‘Madonna of the Rocks’, whereby his talent for three-dimensional effects, applied to a landscape background, produces a strong reaction in viewers. ‘St. John in the Wilderness’, which combines dimensional technique, skillful perspective, and color effects into one powerful composition, is an illustration of da Vinci’s ingenuity.
While some may deem Leonardo da Vinci paintings tame in their total effect on our society’s modern sensibilities, his development of techniques that immersed the viewer in the world of the painting, and the impact of those techniques cannot be understated.
The notebooks are where Leonardo recorded his own ideas as well as existing designs and philosophies for reference. They were never intended for publication. After his death in France on 2 May 1519, Francesco Melzi, his pupil, brought many of his manuscripts and drawings back to Italy. Melzi’s heirs, who had no idea of the importance of the manuscripts, gradually disposed of them
Everyone has heard of the Mona Lisa, but less well-known than Leonardo’s painting are his notebooks. They show that he was a designer and scientist way beyond his time. He drew his visions of the aeroplane, the helicopter, the parachute, the submarine and the car. It was more than 300 years before many of his ideas were improved upon.
The Artistic Techniques Used in Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci is a masterpiece from the high classical renaissances of France. This is an oil on wood portrait landscape that depicts what art historians believe to be a woman from the noble class. This art piece is the most iconic and visited painting of all time. It’s popularity stems from the ambiguous facial expression depicted in the woman’s face; many presume it’s a smirk while other believe she is frowning. In his painting, Mona Lisa, Da Vinci employs composition, atmospheric perspective and sfumato to produce an image of mystery.
Leonardo Da Vinci utilizes composition in this enigmatic landscape portrait by centering the Mona Lisa in the middle of the painting. The women figure takes up a huge portion of the small size painting and is depicted in a frontal view. The composition is organized using the placement of her body which vertically bisects the composition into 2 halves that are equidistant to one another. Her body is in an angled pose known as a three-quarter pose while her face is directly positioned at the viewer which builds a sense of mystery to what she is actually looking at. Also, her body and face are placed in two distinct settings in the background. Her body is drawn in an inhabitant land while her faces is rendered in an unearthly and out of the world setting. Also, the artist outlines the women figure in a triangular composition that balances the painting. The triangle crescendo’s upward which guides the viewer’s eyes from figures body up to her face.
Moreover, the artist establishes pictorial space in the form of atmospheric perspective to render depth and 3-deminsioanlity onto a flat 2-demsional painting. The objects in the background such as the water, mountain, cliff, and the road are receding backwards into the space and therefore appear much smaller; this allows for figure in the foreground to appear bigger and be the main focus of the painting. The objects in the far distances have haziness to them that becomes blueish-grey; this is how our away renders far away objects. The background of the landscape divides into two different worlds. The first world is in the bottom of the painting up to the figure body which consists of red lands and mountains, a bridge and an endless road. The endless road adds to the perplexing image and can have many interpretations. The artist deliberately inserts illogical structures to the painting such the endless road and the bridge in the middle of nowhere to make the image up to self-interpretation and essentially leave it as a mystery. The second world he depicts a river, and grey cliffs which looks imaginary compared to the first world. The inclusion of two different world’s or setting in the background builds a sense of uncertainty that makes the image mystifying and puzzling.
Furthermore, Da Vinci demonstrates sfumato; the blending of light, shade and colors without defines boundaries to build a mysterious landscape. The use of sfumato can be clearly seen through transition of light to dark from the Mona Lisa’s face and chest to her hair. The use of lighting and shading gives the figure a physical appearance. Also, the blending of colors in the Mona Lisa’s face gives the figure a refined and subtle facial feature that is quite mysterious; especially when focusing on her eye and lips. When viewing at the painting from an angle, her lips appear as she is smiling, Also, the shadowing around her eyes suggest a perception of a smile. However, when looking at the painting in a straight line, directly at the Mona Lisa’s mouth, our eyes cannot see the shading which suggest a less apparent smile. The blending of shade through the use of Sfumato results in the different interpretations of the Mona Lisa’s facial expression; whether she is smiling or even frowning. This obscurity and ambivalence about the depiction of the Mona Lisa both hint towards the mystery of the paining which is a recurrent theme produced by de Vinci throughout the painting.
Overall, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Di Vinci still retains its popularity and prominence tell this day. It’s enigmatic portrait of a seated noble figure that appears both smiling and frowning depending on how you look at certainly build up its merit and allows the viewer to engage with the painting on a personal level. All in all, the balanced composition, atmospheric perspective, and the use of sfumato all contribute to the mystery of the paining.
Mona Lisa, the Mysterious Masterpiece
Leonardo da Vinci
In our world, we had a lot of famous artists. Whenever people talk about painting one of the few paintings come to their mind is the Mona Lisa or the Screaming. The painting I am going to discuss in my assignment is Mona Lisa. The historical painting was painted by nonother than Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci was born is a Tuscan Hamlet, Vinci and died on May 2, 1519, at the age of 67 in Amboise, Kingdom of France. He considered being the greatest painter of all time. Even those he loves to draw he drew over 30 paintings but only 15 of his paintings survived over time. At the age of nine, he joined apprenticeship school and his teacher Andrea di Cione help his finish some of Leonard’s early arts. For example, “Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ”, most of the art critics agree that the angel in Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ was made by Leonardo because of the light on face and hair. Not only that, but some critics also believe that Leonardo was also drawn that background of the art. He did not only have interested in drawing or painting, apart from the art he was interested in the other area of studies like science, mathematics, and music.
Who Was Mona Lisa?
Mona Lisa was also known as La Joconde or La Giocondo because many art critics believe that the Mona Lisa portrait is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. One story behind the portrait is that the couple requested the painting at their second childbirth. it has been thought that even those the portrait was painted between 1503 to 1506 but Leonard had continued working on it as late as 1517. The portrait later bought by the France King, Francois. Presently the painting is own by the French Government and the painting is in the museum in ‘Musee de Louvre. There are many theories behind the portrait some believe that the woman sitting in the painting is Leonardo himself in feminine clothing. Moreover, the painting has been reproduced many times and it can be found at almost every museum.
The Description of the Picture
The expression on Mona Lisa’s face is really attractive and unique. The background of the painting is in the landscape. Also, the background is remarkable in details, for example, the sky looks like it is time for sunset and the green trees, river, small bushes and zigzag pathway for a walk. The Mona Lisa is in the middle of the painting. Moreover, the painting uses a triangular technique or a pyramid. The two arms as the base of the triangle ant the head is the top of the triangle. The portrait shows women with a small mystery smile on her face. Whoever looks at the picture the first thing people notice is her smile and it seems like she is smiling but when the viewers look in her eyes then her smile seems like there is a mystic behind it. Another thing is to notice is that her eyes follow the visitors. Leonardo da Vinci focused dark light a lot and the white color on focus person. Even in the Mona Lisa picture, the artist focuses light on her neck, breast, hands, and face glow with similar light.
In conclusion, Mona Lisa was one of the Leonardo da Vinci amazing work which is a mysterious feminine masterpiece to date. Currently, Mona Lisa’s picture which hangs on the walls of France’s museum. Even those Mona Lisa portraits have a lot of arguments over the identity of the woman on the painting. People from all over the world look at the mysterious smiling painting of Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa also means “Lisa, of bare eyebrow”. I chose the Mona Lisa’s portrait because I have heard so many times Leonardo da Vinci name on the television, in books but I did not know who was he.
I always thought he is an actor but after talking the art class I fond out he is the best 14th century’s artist. The Mona Lisa picture I have seen in movies and on social media when every I saw the picture my attention always goes to the smile. Plus, after talking the art class I can see the art in different way, such as what was the purpose behind the art and what era in made in.
The Smile of Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous portrait of Lisa Gherardini, more popularly known as the Mona Lisa, has been one of the most famous paintings in the whole world and consequently also became of the most-discussed work of art. The original painting is now owned by the government of France and it is displayed in the Louvre museum in Paris, France. For almost 500 years, people have been amazed by this painting because of Mona Lisa’s smile. Some people claim that they see her smiling, while others say the opposite. This phenomenon has become so prominent that the Italians even have a word to explain Mona Lisa’s smile, they call it ‘sfumato’, it is used to describe something blurry, ambiguous, that is up to the person’s interpretation and imagination.
What Is the Mona Lisa Smile?
Mona Lisa’s enigmatic expression, which looks both alluring and aloof, has given the painting its universal fame. The Mona Lisa painting has garnered numerous debates regarding her smile, people are either seeing her smile as a genuine one while the others claim that she is not smiling at all. This has intrigued many researchers and over the years it has become a popular subject in psychology, neuroscience, and human behavior. There have been numerous studies on it in the past, one of the most popular theories was developed by Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Margaret Livingston. She claims that in actuality, there is no concrete description of Mona Lisa’s expression because it comes and goes. Mona Lisa’s smile is caused by the human visual system and not because the expression is ambiguous, according to the New York Times. Dr. Livingston claims that the human eye and brain deal with different levels of contrast and illumination and when we look at a certain subject, it can change from time to time depending on from where we’re looking at it.
Apparently light plays a big part in the presence of the Mona Lisa smile, shadows suggest and enhance the curvature of a smile hence when the viewer’s gaze goes directly to Mona Lisa’s mouth, then the central vision does not see the shadows and they will never see the smile. However, if the viewer’s gaze goes directly to Mona Lisa’s eyes, they might see a glimpse of the smile. It all depends on the viewer’s focal point and the lighting of the area, according to her investigation. However, a more recent study that was published this month claims that Mona Lisa’s smile is actually ingenuine and her smile was either forced or fake.
A neurology research team from the University of Cincinnati recently published a study that claims that Mona Lisa’s smile is actually ingenuine. Their results indicate that the feeling of happiness was only portrayed on the left side of her face and according to theories of emotion neuropsychology, Mona Lisa’s asymmetric smile is not actually a genuine smile. According to Dr. Luca Marsili, the lead author of the research that was published in the journal Cortex and a professor in neurology and rehabilitation medicine at the UC College of Medicine, Mona Lisa’s smile is not actually a smile and the emotion that was illustrated is not of happiness or contentment. Dr. Marsili and his colleagues conducted an experiment that asked 42 participants to judge which of the six basic emotions were expressed by two chimeric images of the left and right sides of the Mona Lisa painting.
A chimeric image is the mirror image of a certain object or portrait, and in this case, they used one side of the smile. The researchers have found that 92% of the participants answered that the left half of the smile displayed happiness while the right side did not show any sign of happiness at all. 35 of them also said that the right side expressed a neutral facial expression and the rest of them said that it indicated disgust and sadness, as reported on Science Daily. Moreover, the researchers also claim that there is no upper face muscle activation in the Mona Lisa painting and this can be very telling since a genuine smile should cause the cheeks to raise and the muscles around the eyes to contract. Meanwhile, an asymmetric smile reflects a non-genuine emotion that usually occurs when a person lies or tries to hide their true emotion.
There are several explanations for Mona Lisa’s ingenuine smile; it can be because she has been sitting there motionless as Leonardo da Vinci was painting and it was difficult for her to continue genuinely smiling for a long period of time — or it can be something more intriguing, for instance, perhaps da Vinci already knew the true meaning of an asymmetric smile and he deliberately illustrated a smile expressing a non-felt or ingenuine emotion. Of course, Leonardo da Vinci’s true intentions can never be revealed now and we are only left to speculate the true meaning of the Mona Lisa’s smile.
Mona Lisa as the Picture of Its Time
The Masterpiece of Da Vinci
Created between 1504 and 1505, Mona Lisa is a portrait of the famous Italian Renaissance painter Leonardo Da Vinci. It represents the highest artistic achievement of Da Vinci, successfully shaping the image of a woman of the urban bourgeoisie during the rise of capitalism. In the painting, the figures are sitting gracefully and smiling delicately, with the background of deep mountains and rivers, giving full play to the painter’s peculiar ‘air perspective’ brushwork. Painters sought to enrich the character’s inner feelings and the appearance of the beautiful, intelligent union, for human face in the corner of his lips, etc. The critical part of express feelings, also emphatically grasp accurately and implicative dialectical relationship in particular, to charm, so that the Mona Lisa’s smile is a kind of mysterious thousand GuQiYun, the enchanting smile like a dream many art historians called ‘mysterious smile.’
The Spirit of Time
The ‘mysterious smile’ has always been the subject of much debate, with different viewers and different times of the day seeming to experience it differently. Sometimes it seemed natural and gentle, sometimes serious, sometimes sad, sometimes even mocking and teasing! But these, as we all know, are the characteristics of the change of light that comes with it! In addition to the smile, this painting is more important to express the emotion and social background in which Da Vinci painted. It was the period of the Renaissance in Europe, and the period before the Renaissance was the period of religious domination.
After more than one thousand years of cruel and ignorant feudal rule and spiritual destruction of Christian asceticism, western Europeans have long lost the right to freedom of thought and happy life. All the joys, sorrows, and joys of real life are regarded as violating god’s law. So in medieval portraits of the virgin, Jesus, and ordinary people, there is always the same rigid, stiff, expressionless face. It was not until the Renaissance that everything changed, and the long-lost smile returned to the world, especially to the liberated women. That smile is full of the confidence and optimism of new people in the modern era, filled with their desire for the future, for the true, the good and the beautiful. Therefore, Mona Lisa has a strong spirit of The Times.
Female Beauty in the Renaissance
Mona Lisa’s smile has not only become an essential feature of this portrait but also becomes a typical female beauty in the Renaissance, vividly reflecting the spiritual beauty of a new era. Mona Lisa’s smile is very touching, and this is a calm, confident, classical female image. This kind of smile has conquered people for centuries. Many people have been thinking about this kind of smile. Its composition is pyramid-shaped composition, on the space on the left side of the point of view is straight forward, on the right is looking down, shape ratio accurately modeling, bust, hands overlap in the abdomen, color is dark brown color, light and shade on the transition is soft, light and shadow transfer method, the fusion of realist painting idea, real objectively to show what the real-life scenes and the inner world of the characters of artistic conception, the character costume hairline are higher, broad forehead, no eyebrows, reflects the aesthetic standards at that time. It shows the connotation of respecting people themselves in the Renaissance.
Under the influence of humanism, Leonardo Da Vinci focused on the expression of human feelings. In terms of composition, Leonardo changed his habit of drawing portraits with the side half or the chest and replaced it with the front bust composition. The perspective point rose slightly, making the composition pyramid-shaped, making Mona Lisa appear more dignified and stable. The painting, which took four years to complete, features Mona Lisa, the young wife of the then upstart Gioconda. At the time, Mona, Lisa’s infant son, had just died. To make goodwife happy rise, Da Vinci invites musicians and comedians when drawing, try one’s best to make Mona Lisa happy rise. After this painting is completed, dignified, beautiful Mona Lisa faces that mysterious smile makes countless people dump. Later, ‘Mona Lisa smile’ was used to refer to a charming smile or a strange smile.