The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous and recognizable works of art ever. It is also considered to be by a great margin the most valuable artwork. Leonardo da Vinci designed The Mona Lisa around the years 1503 to 1506. However, some experts say he continued working on the painting for several years. The subject in the painting has been a subject of much debate throughout the years, but most experts seem to agree that the woman is Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy silk merchant known as Francesco del Giocondo (Kemp, 2011). Though it was painted so long ago, it remained out of the public limelight until it was liberated in 1911 from the Louvre museum in France (Cavendish, 2016). The news of its theft spread throughout much of the world and here is where its popularity began.
So why does this painting elicit so much interest from art lovers and even critics? Looking at the painting of Mona Lisa she does not appear to be as beautiful as one would expect from such a famous painting. In fact, she looks rather plain especially by...
today’s standards. But looking at the picture, one cannot help but be captured by the slight, shy smile. This smile also seems to appear and disappear depending on the angle at which you are looking at the picture. Leonardo’s depiction of her smile and her eyes is so realistic you get the impression that she is really looking and smiling at you. Also, she exudes a sort of calmness that draws you in and makes you want to keep on staring at the painting. The different contrasts are in some places dramatic such as the difference in light between her face and her hair.
Looking at the picture one can understand why Leonardo wanted to keep the painting for himself till his death. Maybe he was smitten with Mona Lisa or maybe he wanted to keep on working on it till it was complete, which he never did for any of his works. Regardless of the reason, the Mona Lisa is a great piece of art that will continue pulling in more and more admirers and critics alike
- Cavendish, R. (2016). The Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre | History Today. Historytoday.com. Retrieved 10 October 2016, from <http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/mona-lisa-stolen-louvre>
- Kemp, M. (2011). Leonardo. Oxford: Oxford University Press.