The Eternal Smile…

Published Us Magazine, The News International. 11th May, 2007.

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Whenever art is asserted as a religion, she is claimed to be its prophet. Nearly no other artwork throughout the times gone by has been allotted such fame and success as the famous “Mona Lisa”. Even now, after 500 years of its birth, it still continues to capture the imaginations and appreciation of masses all over the world. The name still stands for perfection, beauty and wonder. The Lady still proves itself to be the manifestation of glamour as well as simplicity. Although probably none are present who are stranger to the name, yet few know details about the painting.

The Initiator…

An Italian artist, Leonardo DaVinci, painted the Mona Lisa. It took him four years to paint Mona Lisa (1503-1506). It is an oil painting done on poplar wood. DaVinci was a man of countless talents. He was a painter, geologist, sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist and mathematician at the same time. He also wrote several books on different topics. Leonardo DaVinci also painted some other masterpieces like “Virgin of the rocks”, “The last supper”, and “The Vitruvian Man”, therefore, the atypical man was a flamboyant source of inspiration for the people of his times.

Homing Miss Lisa…

Throughout history, Mona Lisa has been shifted and brought to several places, but at present, the Mona Lisa hangs in Louvre Museum, Paris. It has been honoured with a separate room of its own after having being hung in the Grand Gallery. ‘Victory of Samothrace’ and the ‘Venus de Milo’, these two famous painting are also homed by Louvre. Although Louvre has a vast collection of masterpieces of all times, yet, The Mona Lisa is universally acknowledged as its greatest treasure. The Mona Lisa is one of the first paintings exposing a woman standing in an open background and staring us (the onlookers) directly in the eyes.

The Real Lisa…

Despite the utmost fame of this painting, the world is still stranger to who really Mona Lisa was. It has a fabricated identity, based on rumors. Some people say that Mona Lisa is the painting of a real girl. Leonardo DaVinci painted Lisa Gherardini, 24, mother of two sons and wife of Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanobidel Giocondo, accordingly he named the painting, Mona Lisa. A theory given by others, who believe Leonardo DaVinci to be homosexual, is that Leonardo painted himself as a woman, and named his painting Mona Lisa. Or in other words, Mona Lisa is Leonardo DaVinci in drag. Now, what is the truth? You Wonder!

The Distinct Celebrity…

Some people don’t really appreciate the paramount fame of the painting. But its prominence and fame has a number of reasons. Firstly, Mona Lisa is painted in sfumato style, of which Leonardo was a master. It is a very difficult style of painting in which every colour appears to disappear or evaporate in the second colour. The mentioned characteristic can be monitored easily in the lady’s costume and her smile. Mona Lisa is one of the first paintings of sfumato. Besides, the stories regarded with its smile also contribute to its eminence. The smile is termed as ‘enigmatic’. A film has also been entitled on the very topic, “The Mona Lisa Smile” (Starring Julia Roberts, who is claimed to have a smile like Mona Lisa’s). A United States Professor said about Mona Lisa, “The Mona Lisa’s smile is beautiful because it disappears when it is directly looked at.” Author Dan Brown, in his international bestseller, “The DaVinci Code”, enlightens a theory that the mountains behind the lady in the painting are the hiding place of the Christian mystery, The Holy Grail. Some people insist that it is not merely a painting, it contains a lot of hidden codes and secrets about various topics. Even its painter was very fond of it. He carried it to every single place he went, never leaving it behind.

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Misfortunes and Tribulations…

Sometimes the events and hardships encountering something render it famous. Same might be the case with Mona Lisa. Before Louvre, it has never been stable at any place. The Mona Lisa has been stolen once. The incident took place in 1911, and the painting was recovered two years later. The event marks itself in the Guiness Book Of World Records as “The Most Valuable Item Stolen”. Another episode is that, in 1956, a person named Ugo Ungaza Villegas, stared at Mona Lisa for a while and then suddenly threw a rock at it, resulting in petty damage. Mona Lisa lacks eyebrows. It may be because Mona Lisa has been repainted and reconstructed several times, and the renewal may have depleted its eyebrows. The original Mona Lisa rests behind several layers of paint. The dress of Mona Lisa is also quite popular, as it is considered to be simple yet stylish. Modern Research shows that Mona Lisa hides a number of expressions behind its secret smile. A report broadcasted by BBC News, claims Mona Lisa to be 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful and 2% angry. It seems that some people can never get them out of trouble … Poor Mona Lisa !!! The Louvre staff is in grave tension nowadays as defects are continuously marking place on the painting, thanks to the cameras that flash in front of her all day long. Therefore, the French are touchy nowadays regarding their inherited treasure to such an extent that the cast and crew of the movie entitled “The DaVinci Code”, (featuring quite popular Hollywood celebrities, one of them being Tom Hanks) did not get an approval to include any original shots of Miss Lisa in the movie by the French Government. Well, the disappointed team had to use a replica for the shooting later on.

The Cherished Lady…

If you want to buy Mona Lisa, then drop the idea. Even Bill Gates would be futile in doing so. As Mona Lisa has been labelled priceless. Money is not enough to let you own the painting. So… Look for other ways!!! Ever since the birth of Mona Lisa, it has been copied and painted by alot of painters around the world. But not one has reached the pinnacle where Mona Lisa stands. The painting has gone through many controversies, but as time is the best judge, Mona Lisa still stands as a lighthouse in the sea of art. Would Mona Lisa ever lose its charm? Would any panting ever gain more acclaim and appreciation than the Mona Lisa? Just give it a thought. “The Mona Lisa is still smiling….”

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4 thoughts on “The Eternal Smile…

  1. Leonardo will always attract seekers!
    Composer Mihail Afanasiev
    When I was in Paris 2005, I could not visit the Louvre. But the Louvre came with sound recording equipment, which were kindly provided by the French. Found the “Mona Lisa” and began recording background sound created numerous visitors who came to see the masterpiece. The logic was simple. Allow myself to be noted that any masterpiece has the property of highly structured information field. Man – this is also, at its basis, the field structure. There is a contact of two field structures – human and masterpiece. This is probably the power of art. The sounds published the people who were in the masterpiece (talk, the shuffling of feet, etc.) were very valuable to me, they were correlated associated with him. Subjecting these records complicated transformation process, I managed to get some incredible sound. Many are led into shock – these sounds there is a clear identification with the portrait of “Mona Lisa.” Similar records I’ve made in the famous sculpture of Venus. As a result, based on these records, I had three works – “Knowledge”, “Flow” and “Communication”.
    studiomusicnew.blogspot.com

    MONA LISA_VENUS(Опыт работы с шедеврами) .avi
    Structure of presented video: sound background at Mona Lisa – result of transformational processing of a background, a sound background at Venus – result of transformational processing of a background, a work “Knowledge” fragment (the transformed sounds are used only).
    Full details can be found on my master class
    Academia of Music, Kishinev MOLDOVA
    (sorry, translated by google)

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