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What is so special about the Mona Lisa painting? Is it over-hyped?

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Iris    35

Ajay Jain.


There are many reasons it's called a masterpiece, some of which l believe are:-


1. Da Vinci had applied techniques and elements new to the era. The Mona Lisa's skin appears to glow from the layers of transparent oils. Da Vinci was a scientist and applied what he knew of anatomy to give the Mona Lisa realism. Even the Mona Lisa's iconic smile and the landscape background were new artistic elements.


2. The identity of the woman in the painting is still a mystery. Some believe that it is the female form of Leonardo Da Vinci himself. Most popular belief is that the woman was Lisa Gherardini, who was 24-years-old and a mother of two sons


***. I  found this one particularly interesting. Digital analysis has revealed that Da Vinci’s facial characteristics and those of the woman in the painting are almost perfectly aligned with one another. That was enough to convince at least one researcher that the image is actually Da Vinci in drag.


4. One of the commonly cited reasons for her fame is the ‘Mona Lisa’s Smile’. Da Vinci exploited human optimal illusion to create a unique smile through perspective and by using shadow work. Da Vinci painted Mona Lisa in such a way that the eyes are the center of the viewer’s attention and the mouth is the periphery. When the viewer looks at the eyes, the mouth falls under the viewer’s peripheral vision and therefore the features of the mouth are not clear, this along with a little shading at the cheek bones make the mouth look like a smile.


But once the viewer focuses on the mouth (smile), the smile slowly disappears, as it was not meant to be a smile. That’s the magic of Leonardo’s skill and that’s what made the Mona Lisa unique compared to other grand paintings.


(The Original painting can be found in the Louvre Museum in Paris).

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Hawken    51

I always wondered...

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