Mona Lisa – The Secret Behind A Masterpiece

October 10, 2013 4:10 pm

mona-lisaLet us take you on a trip back in time and get you lost in the mysticism of the history of art. The year is 1503. Leonardo da Vinci has just begun his famous painting – Mona Lisa or, as many of you may know it, La Gioconda. According to Giorgio Vasari, this personal project continues for many years; gradually it turns into Leonardo’s greatest obsession and later – the most famous painting of all ages. Today we all know it as Mona Lisa – the most famous image in the whole history of art.

The good artist has to be able to depict two things – the physical appearance of the model and their personal thoughts, feelings and emotions. Every professional artist considers the first one as a piece of cake. However, the second one is believed to be one of the most difficult aspects of painting. Even for a genius like Leonardo.

Just like a famous Hollywood star, Mona Lisa has her own bodyguards and it is stored under special conditions. She ‘lives’ in a concrete box with circulating humidified air and behind  bulletproof glass. Every year, over 6 million tourists go to Paris to admire the uniqueness and the beauty of the masterpiece. But what is the secret of its charm? Why is this portrait considered to sway the minds of hundreds of people, trying to reveal the mystery behind the famous smile?

This painting is believed to be a masterpiece, because Leonardo concentrates his whole life in it. His purpose was to create a painting much deeper than just a simple physical image. He literally explored the soul of the woman and then depicted it on the canvas (or, in this case, the poplar board). When you stand in front of the painting, you can feel the spiritual life of the famous model. The excitement which this masterpiece arouses in both young and adults lasts for years.

As we all know, most of the Renaissance portraits were painted in profile. But in this case, it seems as if the artist had called his model to look at him – her whole torso is turned to another direction. Just like a photo, this painting is a sealed moment of eternity.

mona lisa smileBut is Mona Lisa looking at or through us? Or perhaps she is looking somewhere behind us; over our shoulders, at something we cannot see? The truth is that Leonardo is actually playing with the image; he embraces the whole painting with ambiguity and mystery. Why is she smiling like that? What does she know about us, that we don’t? Leonardo has heard voices, that others did not.

The smile actually says : I know things, that you will never know. I have revealed secrets, that you have never suspected to exist. I understand you and the world in a way, that you consider as impossible. This is the exact message, addressed to the world and to ourselves. In this train of thoughte, this portrait may be considered as both biographical and autobiographical. Some scientists even believe that the enigmatic smile of the mysterious Florentine lady is due to the signals that out body sends to the brain. In a certain moment, some of these signals become stronger and our eyes tend to see the secret smile of Mona Lisa. A few seconds later, another type of signal dominates and the smile mysteriously disappears.

La Gioconda is Leonardo’s biggest legacy. It is a personification of his deepest passions and seals the whole essence of our existence, revealing the mystery and the magic, hidden in one, certain instant.

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