Leonardo's Mona Lisa vs. Michelangelo's David

Good Essays
Leonardo’s Mona Lisa v. Michelangelo’s David The Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci around 1503-6, is oil on panel. It is a three quarter portrait of a young, Florentine woman. She is sitting in a chair with her torso twisting around to face the viewer. Her hands are resting on the arm of the chair. Behind the woman in the background is a landscape very characteristic of many Leonardo paintings. The Mona Lisa was painted toward the end of Leonardo’s career. In contrast, the David created by Michelangelo around 1501-4, is a marble sculpture of the biblical hero David. The seventeen foot tall statue depicts a young man standing in contrapposto. Most of his weight is supported with is right leg, while his left leg is relaxed. He holds his sling over his left shoulder and a rock in his right hand. His torso faces forward while his head twists to the left with an apprehensive, determined expression. Both of these works exemplify invenzione. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa has a mysterious expression and moves away from stylized features to show the true personhood of the sitter. Michelangelo’s David conveys the same intention by furrowing his brow and twisting his gaze off into the horizon to show a contemplative David just before he kills Goliath. Both works reveal the psychological complexities of each subject. The David epitomizes contrapposto, showing the pattern of opposing flexed and relaxed muscles throughout the sculpture to capture the moment between coming and going. Mona Lisa is in a seated contrapposto. The axes of her legs to her torso to her head shift subtly, twisting her in space, and giving the feeling that at any moment she could speak or get up from her chair. These works help define paragone. The rivalry between painting and sculpture drove Leonardo to explore techniques to really accentuate form using light and dark or chiaroscuro. Similarly, in Leonardo’s portrait of Virgin and Child and St. Anne, the use of light and dark creates larger

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    The Mona Lisa

    • 1255 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The Mona Lisa, is it just a piece of artwork, or one of the best pieces of artwork in the history of art? The Mona Lisa was painted in the early 16th century by one of the most widely known artist at that time, Leonardo Da Vinci. It is said that the painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini the wife of Francesco Del Giocondo, but also could be portrayed as Da Vinci himself in female form. Researchers claim that Da Vinci used mathematical equations to create the painting such as, the golden triangle…

    • 1255 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Mona Lisa

    • 1594 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The Mona Lisa The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci was painted in Florence between 1503 and 1505. The painting is of Monna Lisa, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, which is why the painting is also referred to as La Gioconda . Leonardo never actually gave the portrait to Francesco and instead kept it for himself. There have been many speculations of deeper meaning of the Mona Lisa. Some believe the painting is a female version of the artist himself, others believe the painting contains hidden images…

    • 1594 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 638 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Mona Lisa Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter, an architect and a man of many things. He was considered a genius with a lot of the things he put his mind to. As of today he is best known for his art, including two paintings Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo’s paintings were based on science and nature. It was said he spent many hours filling books full of his inventions and observations. Some people did not agree with his ideas and thought of them as outrageous, until later on where they realized…

    • 638 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Mona Lisa

    • 480 Words
    • 2 Pages

    the painting that is known in English as Mona Lisa stems from a description by Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari, who wrote "Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife."[5][6] Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as ma donna —similar to Ma’am, Madam, or my lady in English. This became madonna, and its contraction mona. The title of the painting, though traditionally spelled "Mona" (as used by Vasari[5]), is also commonly…

    • 480 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 475 Words
    • 2 Pages

    I have chosen the Mona Lisa to analyze. The portrait of Mona Lisa is also known as La Giocondo, she was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. This painting was done in oil paints on poplar wood by Leonardo da Vinci from the year 1503 to 1506. The dimensions of this painting are 76.2 x 53.3 cm. The painting is now in the Musee du Louvre in Paris. The Mona Lisa is a painting of a woman, dressed in a dark green dress with her hands overlapping. The background of the painting is a mountainous landscape…

    • 475 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 12830 Words
    • 44 Pages

    The English language is nobody's special property, it is the property of the imagination, it is the property of the language itself. For poet Derek Walcott the beauty of the English language lies in every single word he weaves together. His poems “a lesson for this for this Sunday is a metaphorical text on the morality of colonizers and those being colonized. The poem focuses on human nature's inability to stay pure and the need to bend nature to its will. “The lesson is the same” is an extended…

    • 12830 Words
    • 44 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 1995 Words
    • 8 Pages

    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…

    • 1995 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 1460 Words
    • 6 Pages

    that most people would discard, it is quite an enigma as to why the world has been obsessed with the “Mona Lisa” for over 500 years. In “Ways of Seeing” John Berger, an art historian and novelist (only a tiny sample of the different ways I could title this Renaissance man), offers his readers a way into understanding the moment captured in paintings, especially mysterious paintings like the “Mona Lisa.” He suggests that viewers ask questions about and to the painting as way into entering into a sort…

    • 1460 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Best Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 3394 Words
    • 14 Pages

    Mona Lisa, Finding the Key to the Mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa, a painting created by a legendary painter: Leonardo da Vinci, leaves various codes and secrets evident in the painting that adds to its mysteriousness. People today have an obsession to finding out the secrets to unlocking the vault of art history. There are many theories that possibly explain the secrets of the painting: Mona Lisa. These theories are formed by the art experts who are curious on why the Mona Lisa was…

    • 3394 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 576 Words
    • 3 Pages

    3/17/2013 Mona Lisa The Mona Lisa is an extremely sought after and recognized painting. It was painted by the famous Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci between the years of 1503-1506 from what historians believe. The painting standing only 30 inches by 21 inches is a portrait of a woman, on poplar panels done with oil acrylic. This piece created a lot of ground breaking techniques for the period in which it was painted for the art world. It was said that there was a possibility this piece was…

    • 576 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays