Analyse Two Works of Art

Topics: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, Florence Pages: 5 (804 words) Published: September 22, 2014
Analyse Two Works of Art

Leonardo da Vinci is recognized as the one of the most significant artists in history. This Italian Renaissance man was not only a painter but also architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor and many other crafts. He lived at the turn of 15th and 16th centuries. In his lifetime he created not only pieces of art but also many engineering inventions, for example a flying machine. In my essay I would like to describe two paintings made by this very well known artist Leonardo da Vinci. I am very impressed by his work and this is why I would like to claim his arts the attention. Additionally one of the da Vinici’s terrific works is displayed in my home city and I could see it very often. The first painting that I want to describe is “Mona Lisa” and the other “Lady with an Ermine”. Both pieces of art play a very significant role in the career of this Italian painter.

Leonardo da Vinci created many women’s portraits. “Mona Lisa” is the example and was painted in the beginning of 16th century in Leonardo da Vinci’s homeland. The painting depicts a woman who was probably a wife of a rich Florentine trader, Francesco Giocondo. This chapman wanted to have a portrait of his wife in their dining room. He was looking for an artist who could exactly capture the beauty of his beloved. At that time Leonardo da Vinci already was recognized as one of the best artists in Florence, so Giocondo asked him to create this portrait. However, da Vinci was tardy and Giocondo refused paying for his order. After that da Vinci moved to France and he took the painting with him. At the beginning of the 20th century many doubts about the identity of Mona Lisa appeared. Nevertheless, the hypothesis about Giocondo’s wife is still the most popular. Currently this portrait is displayed in Paris in the Louvre Museum.

In the central point of the painting is a middle-aged lady. In the background we can see a valley and probably a lake. The curious thing about this painting is that when we look to the eyes of lady we can see that she is smiling, but when we watch her lips she seems to be dissatisfied. Chiaroscuro used by the painter made this picture mysterious but also fantastic. Seeing this piece of art in museum makes definitely a bigger impression than only on computer or in books. Definitely I recommend going to Paris to see this masterpiece.

Another piece of art, which I would like to describe, is “Lady with an Ermine” which was painted in the late 15th century. The reason that I chose that picture is that the painting is the only one of Leonardo da Vinci’s work, which is displayed in my homeland- Poland. Also in my opinion this painting is not very well known, but undoubtedly it deserves our attention.

“Lady with an Ermine” is a composition, which as we can surmise depicts a woman with an animal. The lady is in the central point of the canvas and she is looking to her left. Her facial expression is rather calm and hopeful. If we look at her for a longer time we can notice that she is smiling. The woman is holding a small animal called an ermine. The background is very dark, even black. The history of this piece of art is very interesting and also very mysterious. When purchased by the Czartoryski family, the history of it was not really clarified. The apparition of an animal was recognized as a decorative element. Only an exact analysis of the work helped with a better understanding of the painting.

The animal held by the woman, an ermine has a complex symbolic meaning. Researches say that the woman in the painting was Cecilia Gallerani, a lover of Ludovico Sforza. The animal symbolizes Ludovico. At that time he was processing his divorce, so Leonardo da Vinci could not show the couple in a love clinch.

The ermine might be also interpreted as an allegory of a maternity. Cecilia was pregnant at the time when the portrait appeared and she was carrying Sforza’s child. Da Vinci could not show that,...
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