Mona Lisa is widely considered to be the greatest portrait of all time it appears in countless advertisements has inspired poetry sculpture forgeries and theft but seriously why the Painting is small only 30”x 21” the color is somber the background seems desolate and eerie and the subject isn’t anyone historically significant about her mystifying gaze and a quirky smile. Da Vinci’s greatest Innovation here is the relaxed and informal three-quarter pose (3/4) of the subject although Mona Lisa’s pose may seem commonplace and almost trivial today. It was revolutionary in the early 16th century Prior portraits were stiff and contrived and mainly consisted of profiles. This pose established a new style of portrait painting that is still the de facto standard today over 500 years later. The pyramidal composition of the portrait is also a da Vinci innovation notice the wide base of the painting which appears heavier than the top. Mona Lisa’s hands form the front corner of the pyramid your eye is drawn to the top of the painting in that infamous enigmatic smile. Furthermore, most portraits of the time were full-length da Vinci’s more intimate cropping was immediately imitated by Masters such as Raphael Soir motto is Italian for blended with connotations of Smoky. Leonardo coined the term to explain his technique of layering translucent layers of color to create the appearance of depth volume and form. The blending of colors becomes so subtle that the gradations are hardly perceptible. The area around her eyes as well as her hair and her scarf has a semi translucent. Smoky feel but give the painting a sense of movement. The technique is also used in the background to create a sense of harmony between the sitter and the landscape. Keep in mind that this was a completely new technique that added a sense of realism that was utterly.
Unparalleled in its time Leonardo’s love of Rocky Landscapes as seen in several of his painting note here is how the two landscapes on either side of Mona Lisa’s head are a physical impossibility. He landscape on the left is noticeably lower than the landscape on the right. This is also one of the first portraits to use an imaginary landscape. Lastly the fact that the background becomes hazy, and more out-of-focus as distance increases was a major breakthrough that added to the realism of the painting. Paintings of this time created equal levels of detail in the foreground and background.
Most experts agree that overzealous cleaning removed the eyebrows which were added after the paint dried, regardless poor cleaning techniques. Definitely caused the greenish hue of her skin tone however Leonardo was known for more somber color palettes than his contemporaries. The mystery of the smile is what makes the painting so engaging? This work introduced several revolutionary painting techniques displayed a supreme mastery of technique by its artists and continues to inspire intrigue in many who view it is safe to say that Leonardo’s Masterpiece, will likely remain as one of the greatest portraits of all time.
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