Famous Portraits – Mona LisaPosted: July 4, 2011
Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is probably the most recognized portrait in the world. You are likely to ask why it is so well known.
The piece was completed in 1519 by the already famous Da Vinci that was not only a painter but also a sculptor, an architect, a scientist, a mathematician and more. After being owned by a number of French Kings, the painting was finally placed in the Louvre museum in Paris.
At the beginning of the 20th century it was stolen and only recovered a couple of years later. Together with the growing appreciation from symbolist painters and art critiques this has boosted its popularity. Further more in 1962 it was lend to the United States for a televised tour.
The painting has always been surrounded by a shroud of mister as the identity, although widely accepted as Lisa del Gioconda, is still not certain and people continue to speculate. The mysterious half smile was also fuel for the imagination. The sitter is placed in the center of the painting, forming a pyramid with the hands forming the base and the head being the top.
The separation between her and the viewer is due to the placement of the chair, thus creating a sense of distance, reservation and dignity. The soft yellow light creates a feeling of intimacy and silence, while the contrast between the face and the darker area surrounding it draws the attention to her gentle eyes. As if breaking the solemnity and gravity of the composition, the barely perceivable smile expresses calmness and comfort.