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Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci - Essay Example

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The present essay shall discuss the process of creating one of the famous paintings painted by an Italian artist is the portrait of a Florentine Lady whose name is Lisa or well known as “Mona Lisa”. Leonardo da Vinci, a famous Italian artist painted this portrait…
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Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
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 One of the famous paintings painted by an Italian artist is the portrait of a Florentine Lady whose name is Lisa or well known as “Mona Lisa”. Leonardo da Vinci, a famous Italian artist painted this portrait during the Italian Renaissance. He painted this painting from 1503 to 1507. Leonardo painted the painting in oil on poplar wood panel. Leonardo took four years to paint the picture maybe because in using oil on poplar wood panel, the part that had been painted on the panel had to be left for a couple of days for that layer to dry before the next is to be applied. In the painting, Leonardo used the skill of sfumato effect in his figures. Hot colors are used for the model, Mona Lisa, and cold colors were used in the background nature. Leonardo used geometric stylized figure types. He used a pyramid shape by placing Mona Lisa in the space of the painting. Her folded hands also form a part of a pyramid. He also used lightning in order to model viewers’ attention to the folded hands that formed a part of a pyramid shape. The lightning he used to model her hands was also used in her breast, neck, and face. The picture was provided with softness. The eyes and the smile give life to the artwork by using shadows that are soft for example in the corners of Mona Lisa’s mouth and eyes. Balance can be seen in the painting, the eye is the center of the painting that makes the model and the background a visual weight. The balance and proportion of the model gives connection of the model with the background. With these elements used, the painting seems real or alive. Her eyes seem following the viewers eyes.
The Mona Lisa wasn’t considered as Leonardo’s most important work during his time but as the years passed it was considered to be important in the history of art. During the time of Leonardo, many artists and contemporaries fail even to comment on the painting, until an artist named Vasari did, which leads other artists to give their attention to the painting. Vasari caught his attention on the skill of Leonardo which is the subject of admiration or she was focused more on the technical part of the painting. The painting was one of the reasons for new thoughts and techniques for the artists of the Renaissance period. Through this painting da Vinci was able to introduce a form of accomplishing realism. He used sfumato, chiaroscuro and atmospheric perspective, shadow painting which molds composition. Chiaroscuro has the capability to provide lifelike objects. Leonardo had proven that by blurring the edges and the light that strike them will blend the forms and provide lifelike objects. Sfumato has the ability to hold space to the objects’ depth and be a mysterious environment. Atmospheric is one the techniques that had been introduced through this painting. This kind of technique is more on “optical phenomena that a structure mathematical system” (Kleiner 547). The hues are more bluish and paler, the outlines are less precise, the small details are lost, and the color contrasts are muted. Through these techniques, Leonardo was able to give the other artists a thing to be handed down through out the generations, realistic creativity. It had been said that the painting Mona Lisa inspired Raphael’s painting “Portrait of Young Woman in Unicorn” which means that the techniques introduced had a great impact throughout the years. During the time of Leonardo da Vinci, the painting Mona Lisa symbolized a new period of time on the treatment of the elements of arts in such a manner to emphasize their correspondence to reality and it also symbolized development and progress. Leonardo da Vinci introduced and developed techniques that have a lasting impact on realism which even in the 20th century many artists are using this kind of techniques.
Works Cited
Kleiner, F. S. (2009). Gardner’s art through the ages: a global history. Boston, Massachussetts: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2009. Print.
Boas, George. “The Mona Lisa in the History of Taste.” Journal of the History of Ideas 1.2 (1940): 207-224. Web. 20 May 2009. PDF.
Powell, Kari, and Carey Rote. “The Mona Lisa and the Techniques That Immortalize It.” Scribd.com. Scribd Inc, 2 May 2008. Web. 22 Oct 2011.
“Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519).” metmuseun.org. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.d. Web. 23 Oct 2011. Read More
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