Mona Lisa

Essay by TheMacsUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2014

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Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci 1

Intro to Visual Arts Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci Fall I, 2010

The Mona Lisa is the most famous and celebrated painting in the history of art.

"She inspires reproduction, parody, scientific theory, and more. The painting has achieved celebrity status and is continually appearing as subject of news articles around the globe" [1]

The Mona Lisa is without a doubt the most famous work in the history of visual arts. She is the art world's enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in an enigma. Nothing about her is simple and as a result she has been studied, stolen, parodied and reproduced.

The Mona Lisa today "is in the paradoxical situation of being both the symbol of Art and the inspiration for kitsch." [2]

The composition, while familiar today was revolutionary. Leonardo chose the pyramid composition which draws your eye up making her smile and eyes the main features.

Breaking with tradition, Leonardo framed her seated with her hands on her lap as opposed to the full length standing portraits of the era. She was seated and seemed relaxed and at ease as she leans upon the arm of a chair with her hands crossed in a relaxed fashion. The background seems to fade away and painted in muted colors it leaves the eye to focus on the portrait. He uses light to draw the eye to her face and hands and his use of shadow adds depth and dimension. However, all of this would be nothing without one essential element.

There is one thing above all others that make's The Mona Lisa so remarkable and that is mystery. There's something mysterious both about the subject herself and the way that the image was painted, her smile and her gaze that follows...