When someone asks you to name a famous piece of art.
Mona Lisa is the first answer that strikes the mind.
But what makes it so special?
Let's learn more about this extraordinary piece of art by the pioneer Leonardo Da Vinci.
Simply Because the painting revolutionized art. In the 16th century, portraits were simple and stiff. Then came Mona Lisa, with a striking pose, and a mysterious smile. The pose has become standard of portraits today. Leonardo used Sugimoto technique, where no outline was made. He also emplyed the areal effect of changing contrast with distance. This showed the mastery of the artist.
Who is she?
No one truly knows. But many believe her to be Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a merchant. Recently a letter was found dating back to 1503, in which Gioconda asks Leonardo about the painting of his wife.
Where was it painted?
Another unsolved mystery. People believe the location to be Florence, Tuscany hills or even some imaginary landscape. That is because Leonardo loved nature.
When was it painted?
No fixed date, but it is believed that Leonardo started painting it around 1503. He carried it as a prized possession and worked on it till he died, in 1519.
Where is it Now?
It has been Inside Louvre Museum in France since 1797, in a special temperant room. It has been kept under bulletproof glass for protection.
It actually disappeared in 1911 though and was recovered 10 years later.
Yes, Mona Lisa is actually incomplete. Even the spelling is. It was actually named Monna Lisa, meaning 'My lady'. The pillars in the painting show it was incomplete.
Da Vinci died before he completed his painting. There was no transaction involved with the merchant, which showed it was not yet complete to trade. Or maybe da Vinci did not want to sell it?
Where the eyebrows at?
Because the woman had loose hairs and no eyebrows, she was speculated to be a prostitute. But that has been proven false. Vinci actually did perform the eyebrow stroke, which was found by studying layers of the painting by UV light. With time, the eyebrows faded.
Also found out by this layer study is a bizarre fact. Vinci used a 50-micron brush to paint this marvelous piece. The brush was thinner than your hair!
The famous smile which changes with the angle you look at it. The paintingm, when seen from the upper side, shows her happy. But if you just look at the lips you'll find her sad. Even the areal aspect put up the painter is astonishing.
790 million dollars!
Da Vinci had the habit of hiding infamous codes in his paintings. If Mona Lisa Is reversed, you can find animals in the painting. He was a master of enigmas and enthusiasts are still trying to decode and understand his paintings. Some even found the phrase, 'The answer is here' in the painting.
There is a lot of speculation related to the painting. Some bizarre, some plausible.
She was pregnant because of the veil she wore, she had high cholesterol, hidden messages, whatnot!