Mona Lisa

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The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is 16th century oil painting created by the renowned Leonardo da Vinci. The work of art depicts an enigmatic woman gazing at the viewer, and it is said that if you move across the room while looking into her eyes, they’ll follow you. It is definitely one of the most popular paintings worldwide and has been the center of many artistic, religious, and theoretical debates. The French government currently owns the Mona Lisa and it is featured at the Musee du Louvre in Paris. The painting can also be referred to as La Gioconda or La Joconde. 

The name of the painting stems from the name of the woman in the portrait, Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy businessman in Florence, Italy named Francesco del Giocondo. Mona means ‘my lady’ or ‘madam’ in modern Italian, so the title is simply Madam Lisa. Art historians agree that Leonardo da Vinci likely began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503, and completed it within 4 years. In 1516 the King of France, King Francois, bought the painting and it is thought that after Leonardo’s death the painting was cut down. Some speculators think that the original had columns on both sides of the lady, whereas other art critics believe that the painting was never cut down in size. It has been suggested that there were 2 versions of the Mona Lisa painting, but many historians reject the second version. The duplicate copy can be found at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. After the French revolution the painting was moved to the Louvre, and Napoleon had it placed in his bedroom for a short time before it was returned to the Louvre. The popularity of the Mona Lisa increased in the mid 19th century because of the Symbolist movement. The painting was thought to encompass a sort of feminine mystique.

Spoliarium Painting by Juan Luna

An oil painting on poplar, the Spoliarium was painted by Juan Luna in Rome in 1884, winning the second prize at the Madrid Academy Exhibition of Oil Paintings. The Municipality of Barcelona purchased this chef dʼoeuvre for the City Hall.  It is arguably the most internationally renowned piece of modern Filipino art. Today, it can be viewed in the main gallery located on the ground floor of the National Museum of the Philippines. 

The Spoliarium is very large, measuring four meters in height and seven meters in width. The painting depicts the bodies of dead gladiators  being dragged from a Roman arena. On the left side are spectators, while on the far right is a woman with her back turned to the scene, her back partially uncovered. The painting's title is often misspelled as Spolarium.

In ancient Rome, the word spoliarium referred to the Coliseum's morgue.

Girl Before A Mirror, 1903 by Pablo Picasso

This painting was painted in March 1932. It was produced in the style Picasso was using at the time and evoked an image of Vanity such as had been utilized in art in earlier eras, though Picasso shifts the emphasis and creates a very different view of the image. The work is considered in terms of the erotic in Picasso's art, and critics in different periods have offered their assessments of the work to show a wide range of reactions. The young girl was named Marie Therese Walter and was painted multiple times during the 1930’s by Picasso. “Girl Before a Mirror” was painted during Picasso’s cubism period. Picasso was an artist that was very bold with his artwork. Even with backgrounds that are normally placed to be a backdrop and mainly they’re to assist the main subject. He includes it within the painting to make it just as intense as the main focal point of the image. When you look closely at the image, you can interpret many different symbols within different parts of the painting. The woman’s face for one; is painted with a side profile and a full frontal image. One side shows the day time where she seems more like a woman, dolled up with her make up done. The other side with the rough charcoal texture portrays her at night. When she...
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