Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous work, the Mona Lisa, plays an important part in The Da Vinci Code, helping the character of Robert Langdon establish da Vinci as a promoter of the “sacred feminine” through his artwork. For example, he accurately describes the uneven horizon line behind the Mona Lisa by saying, “By lowering the countryside on the left, Da Vinci made Mona Lisa look much larger from the left side than from the right side” (Brown 119). However, he follows by saying, “A little Da Vinci inside joke. Historically, the concepts of male and female have assigned sides-left is female, and right is male. Because DaVinci was a big fan of feminine principles, he made Mona Lisa look more majestic and from the left than the right” (Brown 1119). While this makes a convincing argument to forward the plot of the novel, it is not necessarily a factual truth, but rather a character’s opinion on da Vinci’s motivation, something the audience cannot be sure of since da Vinci did not explain his reasoning for this. Overall, reader...
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...own 244). While the image of Jesus and the disciple next to him are wearing inverted colors, viewers cannot be sure that the disciple is Mary Magdalene or that the use of colors were intentional on da Vinci’s part. A symbol of a chalice and the letter “M” are also discussed. However, as before, it is impossible to know if these were purposely created by da Vinci or happened as a natural part of his painting process.
Overall, Dan Brown effectively uses ekphrastic writing as elements to help draw his readers in and help them discover new truths. However, he is not always on the mark with descriptions being accurate to what the artist may or may not have originally intended. By studying his use of da Vinci’s work, readers are left with a better idea of why Brown does this, which is to give his audience an artistic adventure, not necessarily a Renaissance art lecture.
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