Senin, 05 April 2010

The Mona Lisa

No other paintings have been featured in songs, Poems and stories, made into parodies, studied, and reproduced than this famous work of Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci lived between 1452-1519. Revered by art historians not only for his genius , but also for this physical beauty and grace, and his thirst for knowledge, he had taken an apprenticeship with a famous artist at the time he was 14. Da Vinci continued to expand his interests, experiments and explorations in other fields. Altouhgt he is most renowned as a painter, the Italian was also, among others, a brilliant scientist, engineer, musician, writer, botanist and investor, da Vinci was ahead of his time altought not many of is ideas were feasible at the time. For example, he had ideas fo a helicopter, calculator and tank. His brillians earned him a place at the king’s palace until the day he died.
The Monalisa was da Vinci’s chef d’oeuvre, his masterpiece, which he strated painting in 1503. A chornic procrastinator, he left it unfinished for years, finally completing it the year before he died.
As with “Fur Elise,” the model for Mona lisa has been debated for years. At least four candidates have been suggested as the model, including da Vinci’s mother Caterina and da Vinci himself. However, many art historians believe the painting to be the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a Florentine silk merchant, Francesco del Giocondo. Mona is a form of address meaning Ma’am or Madam. When the great master passed away, it was inherited by da Vinci’s assistant Salai, who then sold it to the King Francois I. The Mona lisa was then given as a gift to King Louis XIV and it has remained the property of the French government ever since, residing at the Musee du Louvre in Paris.
The model is not the only secret this painting holds. The smile of Madam Lisa has always been described as mysteriours or ambiguous. Is she smiling or isn’t the? This is due to the painting technique, using shadows , which , according to Professor Margaret Livingstone of Harvard University, show da vinci’s understanding of how human eyes work. We pick out details better from the corner of our eyes, so since the shadows make up the smile, we see the smile when we look at the other parts of the painting, but not when we stare at the mouth.
A research using a high-tech scanner reveals da vinci’s preparatory drawings under the layers of paint and varnish. The scan also shows the changes he made to the painting during its creation, such as an eyebrow, and the position of an arm.

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