Da Vinci painted a Mona Lisa. Beethoven composed a Fifth Symphony. Van Gogh created a Starry Night. Michelangelo produced The Sistine Chapel and the God made us to admire these Art over the Era…
One of the most popular reasons for the Mona Lisa’s global appeal is her smile. Da Vinci exploited an optical illusion to create a unique smile through perspective and his use of shadow work. Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in such a way that the eyes of the Mona Lisa fall directly in the center of vision of the viewer, while the lips fall just under the periphery of one’s vision. His sfumato technique further ensured that the eyes and the lips were the most prominent features.
Whenever the viewer looks into the Mona Lisa’s eyes, the mouth falls into the peripheral vision, so the features of the mouth are slightly less distinct; along with a little shading of the cheekbones, this makes the mouth look like a smile.
However, once the focus of the viewer lands on the smile, it slowly disappears, as if it were never a smile to begin with. This is where the magic of Leonardo’s skill resides, and that’s what made this legendary painting unique in comparison to other paintings of the time.
Interpretations of the Mona Lisa’s smile
There are various interpretations to the smile; some say it’s a happy smile, some find it deceptive, and still others feel that it is a sad smile. Apart from the very nature of the smile, it has also led to many speculations as to who the subject was; in other words, whose face inspired the most famous painting in history? The facial expression gives the painting an enigmatic quality, leaving the viewer wondering what the model was thinking, who she was, and why she seems happy to some and sad to others.
Hidden Secrets in the Mona Lisa
There are rumors of hidden secrets and symbols within the painting. Academicians have identified evidence of various (unknown) layers of pictures within the Mona Lisa. Scholars are said to have identified at least four different paintings that may be varieties of the Mona Lisa, with several different people as the subject. Some claim that Da Vinci actually painted the Mona Lisa in his likeness, as a female Da Vinci.
Da Vinci was known to be an interesting character himself, in addition to being an inventor, artist and scientist. In his heyday and under the patronage of Francois I, he managed to create an aura of celebrity around himself. His fame rubbed off on the Mona Lisa, which was also favored by Francois I, his patron.
It is important to know that only 20 finished canvas paintings were done by Da Vinci during his lifetime, further increasing the Mona Lisa’s rarity. The fact that it was stolen in the early days of the 20th century added further to its fame.
Artists like Duchamp, Dali and Warhol publicized the painting further through their own reproductions. The painting has been used as an object for mass reproduction, merchandising, lampooning and speculation, and has been reproduced in 300 different paintings and more than 2,000 advertisements.
There are some other controversial stories as to who the subject of the painting is. The Mona Lisa, was always displayed in a place of importance, even publicly displayed in the Fontainebleau, Francois I’s favorite château in 1519. In 1800, the Mona Lisa was hung in Napoleon’s bedroom, and in 4 years it was moved to the Louvre, which it still calls home.
The Mona Lisa continues to be studied by artists and academicians to uncover the apparent mystery that hands around her like a shroud. Its reputation as a carrier of symbols, secrets and other unknown mysteries will surely keep the popularity of the Mona Lisa intact for a very long time.
Mona Lisa is the only beauty who went through history and retained her reputations..
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