Mona Lisa Alive Essay

Submitted By elmartin21
Words: 965
Pages: 4

The Mona Lisa: A figure of History
Elizabeth Martin

The Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo Divinci, is one of the most well known paintings ever. People travel around the world just to see this beautiful masterpiece. The Mona Lisa is one of the most deserving paintings to sit in a museum because of the ambiguity of the woman’s expression, the beautiful curves and shape of her body, and the depth and illusion of the background setting. DaVinci used oil on poplar wood to create his masterpiece. He painted the Mona Lisa between 1503 and 1506. There is some debate about who the woman in the painting is but most sources say that is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini. The painting was first owned by King Francis I of France and now resides in The Lourve museum in Paris and has been there since 1797 (Tong, Visual Computer). As a painting with many different interpretations, The Mona Lisa deserves to be in a museum because of its fantastic interpretation of the beauty and mystery within a woman. Leonardo uses various shades of oil paint, diffused light and geometric shapes in his painting. The painting is very mysterious; between the alluring half smile on Mona Lisa’s face and the secrecy behind her eyes, each person has a different interpretation of her expression. (Capps, Pastoral Psychology). Leonardo puts Mona Lisa in a pyramid design with her head as the top of the pyramid and her folded hands in the front corner of the pyramid. His use of a pyramid really makes Mona Lisa stick out as the focus of the painting. She looks very realistic and definitely stands apart from the background behind her. DaVinci utilizes light to soften her look and highlight her womanly features including her face, neck, breasts, and hands. He uses the same degree of light on these four features which makes them stand out. DaVinci uses her dark hair and shadows to frame Mona Lisa’s face making it the main focal point. Her eyes are looking directly at the observer. Leonardo uses a technique called sfumato; he blended colors, light and shade so that everything blended together and there were no harsh borders surrounding Mona Lisa’s features (Smith, Art Bulletin). DaVinci puts Mona Lisa in front of an imaginary background landscape using aerial perspective with the vanishing point right behind Mona Lisa’s eyes. It helps to create depth because the further back the landscape goes, the smaller it gets. The relaxed and comforting look in her eyes and smile helps to create a gentle and easy feeling when looking at the painting. Mona Lisa also has no eyebrows or eyelashes. According to some researchers, it was a common practice to pluck these hairs during this time period (Filipczak, Art Bulletin). The Mona Lisa belongs in a museum because it symbolizes the ideal woman in society during the renaissance period. The role of women was to be a child-bearer, a keeper of the home, and a good wife. Although these were the roles of women during the renaissance period, rarely were they depicted in domestic settings. DaVinci portrays The Mona Lisa with a scenic background representing the beauty of nature. The Mona Lisa represents the “ideal” woman (Bohrn, Psychological science). The light he uses to emphasize her face, neck, hands, and breasts help make her look soft and gentle. The ideal woman is gentle, easy to look at, beautiful, but also alluring DaVinci paints her so that it appears as if her eyes are following you, another sign of the ideal woman because she maintains eye contact with you, as if she is submissive (Ball, Nature). Most researchers say that the woman in the picture is Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine silk