Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is one of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. It has been analyzed and criticized by the art world for hundreds of years. Why are people so fascinated with this painting? Is it because da Vinci was such an incredible painter and overall artist? The painting is one of the great mysteries of the art world. Who was the subject and why does she seem to be smirking? There are many theories about da Vinci’s intentions with this painting. Could the painting actually be over analyzed? There may be no mystery at all.
The Mona Lisa took around three years to complete. Da Vinci worked on it from 1503 to 1506. This painting is over 500 years old yet is still relevant today. The most obvious reason why people are so fascinated with this painting is the expression the woman is wearing. She seems to be smiling but it’s a closed mouth smile. Does the smile come from her eyes, her mouth or both? Many think she’s smiling that way because the subject actually had no teeth. Others speculate that she was either pregnant or had just had a child. It could be that da Vinci had a special relationship with this woman and she was sharing a secretive, conspiring smirk with the artist.
The subject of the painting is also a mystery. Many believe she was a woman from Florence Italy named Lisa Gherardi. This is speculation from art historians. Some believe there really is no mystery. There is a theory held that this was simply a portrait commissioned by a loved one of the subject. It was common in those days for a husband to have a portrait painted of his wife. The subject may have been the wife of a wealthy man who wanted a way to immortalize his wife’s beauty.
Leonardo da Vinci himself was a very interesting man who dabbled in many different kinds of art, along with science and other endeavors. He was ahead of his time in his art and his inventions. Da Vinci has to be part of the reason people love to talk about this painting so much. One wonders what kind of relationship da Vinci had with the subject. Did he direct her to give this mysterious smile? It makes you consider what da Vinci would think if he knew that over 500 years later people were still dissecting the meaning behind his most famous work of art.
If you want to see the Mona Lisa in person, travel to Paris France. It is held in the Louvre behind bullet proof glass. The fact that it is so protected shows how valuable and unique the painting is. Since Da Vinci himself can’t answer the questions people have about the painting, one can only speculate. What exactly was his goal in painting the Mona Lisa? Perhaps it really is over analyzed and was simply a portrait commissioned by someone. It’s unlikely that the truth will ever really be known but it is fun to speculate. The mystery behind this painting is the reason we’re still talking about it today.