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The Mona Lisa: La Gioconda or La Joconde

By Rachel-McRill Oct 25, 2014 829 Words

Response Paper: The Mona LisaRachel McRill
The Mona Lisa; also known as La Gioconda or La Joconde, is a famous work of art by Leonardo da Vinci. He created this piece by using the sfumato, the technique of blurring sharp outlines by blending, chiaroscuro, contrasting light and shade boldly, and atmospheric, the perception of depth in nature enhanced by haze, perspective. The subject is a young woman sitting with a half-smile on her face. Painted in 1503, her name is Lisa Gheradini, and she was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It was acquired by King Francis 1 of France, and is on display at The Louvre museum in Paris. The Mona Lisa is the best known work of art, internationally famous. I believe this is because of the mystery surrounding the painting, and the conflicting reports of the painting’s production. Leonardo da Vinci was believed to have been commissioned to paint a portrait of a wealthy man’s wife in 1503, Lisa Gheradini. Other possible sitters, such as da Vinci’s mother, Princess Isabella of Naples, and Spanish noblewoman Costanza d’Avalos have been named over the centuries. Da Vinci also kept the portrait, something uncommon for an artist who has been commissioned to create the work for someone else. Da Vinci was unusual though, and kept a good deal of his own work. The Mona Lisa was painted 500 years ago, and still remains a topic of discussion. Particularly about the subject, Lisa Gheradini. Da Vinci did not leave any information about the portrait, so much has been left to speculation. Her half smile, something rare in portraiture of the time. Some say this is because da Vinci had her entertained by clowns and musicians while he was painting, and she was smiling out of amusement. The Mona Lisa is an open work. Leaving the viewer to determine its meaning. I wonder if Lisa Gheradini had any idea her portrait would become a worldwide obsession. I believe the original painting has been enhanced by its fame. An ordinary woman had a portrait painted, and it is now a major piece of history. She was not particularly noteworthy; a rich man’s wife with children, but people will recognize her as da Vinci’s most famous work. Leonardo da Vinci was an exceptional artist. Another reason the Mona Lisa has become enhanced by its fame is that da Vinci’s work was introduced to the world. His other paintings are not as well-known as the Mona Lisa, but we are more likely to look them up to view, based on his Mona Lisa. The Last Supper is well known, but does not hold a candle to the Mona Lisa’s popularity. He studied the human body extensively and created his art with an eye for depicting the realism of the body. The Mona Lisa is painted this way, and she is very realistic. Given that the Mona Lisa is so well known, advertisers have jumped at the chance to use her famous face for marketing. Lufthansa Airlines uses a boa wearing, heavily made up Mona Lisa with the tag line ‘My God, France is so cheap these days’, to sell their affordable plane tickets. Koss stereo phones and loudspeakers use an image of the Mona Lisa wearing headphones. The line on this ad is ‘Ever wonder why she’s smiling?’ Vidal Sassoon used an image of Mona Lisa with a chic bob hairstyle to market their hairdryers. Blistex used a close up of her face in an ad for their lip moisturizers. It simply shows Mona Lisa’s lips being unlined and moisturized, in stark contrast to her face. I will confess that I am not a fan of the Mona Lisa. I have never understood why such a simple painting is as big a deal as it is. Reading and researching this paper has given me a better idea of why it is so famous, even though I still do not like the piece. I admit that I like da Vinci’s style of painting, and the Mona Lisa is wonderfully painted. One thought that strikes me as I look at the painting is how perfectly symmetrical her face is, and yet she is not a great beauty. Society today is obsessed with beauty and perfection, and the Mona Lisa is technically perfect. I wonder if da Vinci did that on purpose, painted her symmetrical to show that perfection didn’t always equal beauty. Still, the world is enthralled with the piece, and that is quite a feat for something that was painted in 1503. The Mona Lisa’s popularity has definitely stood the test of time. Bibliography

Becoming Mona Lisa David Sassoon
The Thefts of the Mona Lisa Noah Charneyhttp://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_1100/11006055/file/lufthansa-german-airlines-mona-lisa-small-92210.jpghttp://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/40/45/cd/4045cddfe53d56e7607a72bbd82e046f.jpghttp://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/preview/14488/1/Magazine-Advert/Koss-Headphones-Mona-Lisa/1970s.jpghttp://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_1199/11994455/file/blistex-mona-lisa-small-18538.jpg

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