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Mona Lisa

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The Mona Lisa

“La Gioconda”, also known as “The Mona Lisa”, is a widely known piece of art located at the museum “The Louvre” at Paris, France. The Mona Lisa was the young wife of an Italian merchant. The painting was made by the infamous Leonardo da Vinci in 1503. Millions go to Paris just to get to see this acclaimed painting. It is the most famous piece of art that exist in the world. Anybody can recognize the painting or will know what “The Mona Lisa” is; however, why is it the most famous, recognized, acclaimed piece of art in the world? "What people love about Mona Lisa is that her expression changes as you look at her, and that makes her seem alive. (Neuman, p.16)” says Margaret Livingstone, a neurobiologist at Harvard University. She insists that the expression really does change, but the switch occurs in your eye, not in the paint. Our central vision is good at picking up small details, whereas peripheral vision processes blurry features, called low spatial frequencies. Masses of other paintings have been created with a more artistic and imaginative style, yet they are not as well known as the one made by Da Vinci and they are not recognized as great and delightful as The Mona Lisa. It is enigmatic the popularity of the painting because of the few subjects involved, the lack of visual appeal, and it is not emotional.

The painting is mainly composed of a woman that occupies most of the panel and in the background there is a little road and a lake with mountains. The woman and the scenery are well painted; however, better sceneries have been drawn with more details and objects interacting with one another. It may be guessed that the horizon corresponds with her eye level. The river and the road on the left both turn and then disappear behind the figure, perhaps to arrive and meet at the same low level, just as in the lower part of the figure two edges of veil converge and the hands join. Kemp has observed that “other watery currents enliven the drapery cascading from the Mona Lisa’s neckline and the intertwining folds of the veil descending diagonally over her left breast. (p.4)” The Mona Lisa can be interpreted in many ways because of its variety of details, but there are other paintings that have a more diverse and creative settings, for example; “The Starry Night” by Van Gogh. A master piece that is famous, but not as famous as The Mona Lisa. It should be accredited as a more acclaimed painting because of the creativity and imagination that it reflects just by looking at it.

People are attracted to visually appealing images that have lively and warm colors. The Mona Lisa is drawn with oil, but the colors used are dark and not vivid. The woman has a pale white skin and shadowy clothes; the background has also a lifeless lake and a barely visible road. Overall, the painting seems gloomy rather than a vivid one. “Italian researchers say Leonardo used a blurring technique called sfumato, employing microscopic dots to create the smoky shadows near her eyes and mouth that make her stare so enigmatic. A Dutch emotion-recognition program determined that her non-grin is just 83% happy. She's also 9% disgusted, 6% fearful and 2% angry. (Svitil, p.15)” All these details on the painting make it special for many but as long as you don’t see the painting in person you might not be able to experience what the people that have seen it can experience. There are different tastes in colors that people like, the Mona Lisa does not have that great variety of colors so it does not call the attention as much as a picture with a simple rainbow would due to the bright and warm


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