The Mona Lisa painting is considered to be a masterpiece. Why?? Why is it so popular? Have you ever wondered? Painted in 1519 by an equally famous painter Leonardo Da Vinci, Mona Lisa is still the subject of much study and an object of admiration, even today after all these years.
Any serious art student makes it a point to see the painting at least once and almost everyone attempts an imitation. It is one of the most written about and discussed paintings in the world. The painting is currently displayed in the museum Musee Du Louvre in Paris. It was acquired by the French King soon after it was completed and is now the property of the Republic of Paris.
The painting shows in half length a woman seated in a very calm fashion, her arms folded at waist level in front of her. Most parts of the woman’s body glows in the same light. The technique used in the painting is referred to as sfumato and this is said to give Mona Lisa her enigmatic smile.
The portrait itself is very small in size and attracts millions of visitors every year to the museum. Da Vinci is well known for his various styles of painting, but it is the Mona Lisa that has made him very famous. The expression on Mona Lisa’s face is what is said to captivate the viewers. It is enigmatic and a viewer cannot make up his mind whether she is smiling or is sad. The background of the painting and the atmospheric illusions add to the grandeur of the work of art.
The identity of the woman in the portrait is also surrounded by as much speculation as her expression. Not much is known about her, though there are reports that she belonged to the Gherardini family of Florence. Some feel that she was pregnant at the time that the painting was done. There have also been suggestions that the woman could have actually been Da Vinci’s lover, while others refute this saying that it may have been his mother. There is also speculation that it may actually be a self portrait by Da Vinci.
It is the smile in the portrait that has made it the subject of so much speculation. Its existence or absence itself is not certain. Some have described it as a half smile. Others have described it as enigmatic. Even the best art critics are unable to come to some kind of conclusion on this. The smile has been both a source of inspiration and exasperation to many.
Da Vinci belongs to the regime of Renaissance painters, but he has also indulged in a number of paintings where much of the perception by the viewer is left to his interpretation of the painting. Therefore the same painting may mean different things to different viewers. The left eye also shows some symbols which is thought to be the initials of the painter, but the painting is too old for it to be deciphered correctly. The painting will forever be the gold standard in art and a subject of mystery forever.