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Mona Lisa - The Stroke of a Genius

Mona Lisa - The Stroke of a Genius

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Published by Ramita Udayashankar

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Published by: Ramita Udayashankar on Mar 23, 2011
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03/23/2011

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Mona Lisa: the stroke of a genius
Ever heard of ‘Monalisa’ the painting that has become a universal synonym for beauty?Ever wondered why this painting of Da Vinci has caught the imagination of wholeworld?Why would anyone spend tons of money to acquire this painting?What makes it so popular that 1.6 million people thronged the New York museum tohave a look at it in 2008?For a lot of people, the first look of the painting is quite unimpressive and does notbring out “Oh my God” reaction!However, there is undeniably a mesmerizing quality about the painting when you look at it carefully! You will be surprised to know that this masterpiece by Leonardo daVinci is remembered for his adventurous art work blended with intellectual Europeanlife, humanism, art, science, religion and self awareness.Measuring 30/21 inches, the painting highlights the illusionary background and queer landscape. The background gives a semi transmissible & smoky touch to thepainting.
Da Vinci
configured various techniques which were unknown in the 16th century. Itredefined the traditional painting methodologies and created huge curiosity acrossEurope. Artists during that time were supposed to proceed from the outlined figures,but Da Vinci used different tones and shades to bring about the necessary light andshadow effect in the painting. Creating three dimensional illusions through the layersand layers of thin, semi-transparent glazes, he highlighted the features and borders of the subject,
Monalisa
. Leonardo himself used landscape only once in his painting
Virgin of the Rocks
” where he is considered to surpass his own abilities.However, it is all about the mysterious gaze and appropriate smile which makes thelady so popular…let’s have a deeper insight into this.An enigmatic and inspiring smile, Da Vinci exploited the human optical illusion tocreate a unique smile with the use of shadow. He inculcated the
Sfumato
(one of thefour canonical painting modes of the Renaissance) technique to highlight the eyes andmouth. The magic of Leonardo’s skill leaves the viewer awestruck with his master strokes that
create the illusion of smile that slowly disappears
. A little shading atthe cheekbones makes the mouth look like a smile.The controversy is not finished yet. The smile leaves the viewer wondering that whatexactly is going on in the mind of the female. There are different interpretations toMona Lisa smile. Some say it is a happy smile, some find it deceptive while othersperceive it as a sad smile.Moving on to more pictorial details, there is absence of facial hair including eyebrowsand eyelashes in the entire painting. Detailed ultra high resolution scans of Frenchengineer, Pascal Cotte, concluded that
Mona Lisa was originally painted witheyelashes and eyebrows, but they disappeared over time, probably because of over cleaning!
With the folded hands in, Leonardo gave a pyramid design to the painting which tellsus about his flawless mathematical and geometrical excellence. While Mona Lisa’s

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