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Mona Lisa as the Picture of Its Time

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The Masterpiece of Da Vinci

Created between 1504 and 1505, Mona Lisa is a portrait of the famous Italian Renaissance painter Leonardo Da Vinci. It represents the highest artistic achievement of Da Vinci, successfully shaping the image of a woman of the urban bourgeoisie during the rise of capitalism. In the painting, the figures are sitting gracefully and smiling delicately, with the background of deep mountains and rivers, giving full play to the painter’s peculiar ‘air perspective’ brushwork. Painters sought to enrich the character’s inner feelings and the appearance of the beautiful, intelligent union, for human face in the corner of his lips, etc. The critical part of express feelings, also emphatically grasp accurately and implicative dialectical relationship in particular, to charm, so that the Mona Lisa’s smile is a kind of mysterious thousand GuQiYun, the enchanting smile like a dream many art historians called ‘mysterious smile.’

The Spirit of Time

The ‘mysterious smile’ has always been the subject of much debate, with different viewers and different times of the day seeming to experience it differently. Sometimes it seemed natural and gentle, sometimes serious, sometimes sad, sometimes even mocking and teasing! But these, as we all know, are the characteristics of the change of light that comes with it! In addition to the smile, this painting is more important to express the emotion and social background in which Da Vinci painted. It was the period of the Renaissance in Europe, and the period before the Renaissance was the period of religious domination.

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After more than one thousand years of cruel and ignorant feudal rule and spiritual destruction of Christian asceticism, western Europeans have long lost the right to freedom of thought and happy life. All the joys, sorrows, and joys of real life are regarded as violating god’s law. So in medieval portraits of the virgin, Jesus, and ordinary people, there is always the same rigid, stiff, expressionless face. It was not until the Renaissance that everything changed, and the long-lost smile returned to the world, especially to the liberated women. That smile is full of the confidence and optimism of new people in the modern era, filled with their desire for the future, for the true, the good and the beautiful. Therefore, Mona Lisa has a strong spirit of The Times.

Female Beauty in the Renaissance

Mona Lisa’s smile has not only become an essential feature of this portrait but also becomes a typical female beauty in the Renaissance, vividly reflecting the spiritual beauty of a new era. Mona Lisa’s smile is very touching, and this is a calm, confident, classical female image. This kind of smile has conquered people for centuries. Many people have been thinking about this kind of smile. Its composition is pyramid-shaped composition, on the space on the left side of the point of view is straight forward, on the right is looking down, shape ratio accurately modeling, bust, hands overlap in the abdomen, color is dark brown color, light and shade on the transition is soft, light and shadow transfer method, the fusion of realist painting idea, real objectively to show what the real-life scenes and the inner world of the characters of artistic conception, the character costume hairline are higher, broad forehead, no eyebrows, reflects the aesthetic standards at that time. It shows the connotation of respecting people themselves in the Renaissance.

The Composition

Under the influence of humanism, Leonardo Da Vinci focused on the expression of human feelings. In terms of composition, Leonardo changed his habit of drawing portraits with the side half or the chest and replaced it with the front bust composition. The perspective point rose slightly, making the composition pyramid-shaped, making Mona Lisa appear more dignified and stable. The painting, which took four years to complete, features Mona Lisa, the young wife of the then upstart Gioconda. At the time, Mona, Lisa’s infant son, had just died. To make goodwife happy rise, Da Vinci invites musicians and comedians when drawing, try one’s best to make Mona Lisa happy rise. After this painting is completed, dignified, beautiful Mona Lisa faces that mysterious smile makes countless people dump. Later, ‘Mona Lisa smile’ was used to refer to a charming smile or a strange smile.


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