The Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa is one of the few paintings that I have seen in person. I don’t know why she is so intriguing to look at but something about her smile and her eyes captivate me. The realness of the painting and how ordinary the Mona Lisa is the reason why I can look at this painting with great joy, it doesn’t make me think too much, it doesn’t confuse me, the simplicity and the normalcy of this painting is what I enjoy so much. However, after an analysis you can see that the painting isn’t so ordinary.
The painting is done by using a liquid media. The Leonardo de Vinci used oils to paint his picture. During the 15th century using oils was very common. By using oils Leonardo was able to create a real lifelike painting, since the oils dry slowly he was probably able to mix and rework all his colors and shading until they were just the right hue and looked perfect.
In this painting there is no distinct line. There is a lot of shading giving the figure shape and gives outlines of where the clothing becomes a hand or where the forehead becomes hair. However, it is just like a photograph, you can see where the chin stops and the neck begins. However, the lines are subtle and not over exaggerated. You can see however, that the painting seems to be made up of three triangles. Mona Lisa being the biggest they the left top corner is the background and the top right corner are a continuation of the background. However, these two backgrounds seem to not be part of the same landscape.
When you look at the form of the work it is clear that the picture is non-objective, it is obvious that the painting is of a woman. However, what is objective about the woman is her facial expression, what is she looking at, is she even looking at anything, who is the woman, is she or isn’t she smiling, if she is smiling what at, and so on and so on. Leonardo’s use of form in the painting is what makes the Mona Lisa so intriguing to look at, you can make up any story you’d like and no one can tell you you’re wrong.
Leonardo originally used more somber colors; there is not outstanding, unrealistic color that pops out. Everything about the color, from the sleeves of the dress to her lips makes the picture realistic. He uses just the right amount of darker colors to make realistic shading. The top half of the painting has a very higher value of color, the colors are lighter and more airy while the bottom half of the painting has a lower value of color, the colors are darker and more shaded.
There is a certain balance about the photo as well; everything is split right down the center starting at her hair line, going down the face, proceeding right to where the hands cross. The background is on the left and the right. Since the foreground is so busy and beautiful the background seems to be faded and not have distinct features and detail.
Over all the focal area is naturally the Mona Lisa’s bright face which is in the middle of the painting. The Mona Lisa seems to pop out of the picture; you can tell that there is a sense of depth because of the way she is angled on the chair, as well as in the background. It is beautifully done
I love this painting, I don’t know if it is because I have seen it in person, or how beautiful it is even though it is simplistic. It captures a normalcy which is intriguing but a beauty like no other. It makes me think of what beauty was back then and what beauty is now today. You would never see someone with her looks is painted and the picture would become a masterpiece. I also like the smile and the eyes, they go perfectly together to make a subtle expression that is hard to capture in photographs even today! In my mind it is the perfect balance of all elements.