The Mona Lisa by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci is one of the most visited, written about, sung about, and talked about paintings of all time. In the following pages I will give a detailed description of the painting, the historical context surrounding it’s inception, and an in-depth comparison between Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait.
The term “renaissance man” describes an individual who excels in numerous areas and can do many things extremely well. Today, this description lends itself to both men and women who are both scholars and athletes, creative and industrious, and generally highly successful in all they do. While many modern “renaissance individuals” go quietly about their lives being exceptional yet unnoticed, the first renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci, made quite a stir and caught the attention and imagination of the fifteenth century world. In his own time, Da Vinci was a renowned artist, scientist and inventor who was celebrated by thinkers, artists and kings alike. And although he lived and worked more than six-hundred years ago, Da Vinci’s artistic and scientific genius continue to inspire and amaze.
The famous Mona Lisa, I never knew that all the scandal was about until I was finally in front of it. The Mona Lisa was created by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci was born in April 15, 1452 but passed away in May 1519. He was an Italian polymath who was interested in art and created many paintings in the Renaissance. The Mona Lisa is currently in the Louvre museum in Paris, the painting is well secured inside a glass were no one is allowed to get a closer look at the painting. I was probably 5-10 feet away from the painting but was still able to get a good look at it.
Born on April 15, 1452 out of wedlock to a prominent attorney notary and a young peasant girl, Leonardo da Vinci was raised by his father and spent his early life on his father’s family estate. During these years, da Vinci did not receive much of a proper education beyond basic mathematic, reading, and writing skills. Around the age of 14, his father sent him to apprentice with Andrea del Verrocchio, a sculptor and painter in Florence, after recognizing the possible potential of Leonardo himself. At the age of twenty, after six years of perfecting his technical skills such as metalworking, carpentry, drawing and sculpting, Leonardo became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke.
Nearly everything captured the attention of handsome, intelligent, and charming da Vinci. His dream of flying and pursuit of inventing often compelled him to abandon a project for the sake of exploration. Contrary to the beliefs of most notorious figures of the time, da Vinci comprehended the flaws of humanism and relativism. Rather, he recognized a higher authority, which he strove to obey. Today, da Vinci is most frequently recognized as the creative genius behind the fascinating “Mona Lisa.” “Mona Lisa” herself, was likely quite ordinary. In fact, “Mona” is simply an abbreviation of the title, “Mrs.” or “Madonna.” While the subject’s true identity is debatable, da Vinci’s skillful execution is undeniable. The blurred contours and dark undertones of his own technique, sfumato, pair with intentional fuzziness and purposeful shadows to create a portrait with exceptional depth and rich meaning. Opposed to the preferences of many artists of the day, da Vinci favored pleasant subjects. No doubt his employment of musicians and jesters to entertain his subjects is partially responsible for Mona Lisa’s distinguished smile. Indubitably, Leonardo da Vinci’s achievements set the standard for High Renaissance
On July 2nd, 2015, I took a trip the Salvador Dali Museum in Saint Petersburg where they showcased the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit, which included numerous amounts of work that he did over his entire lifespan. Ranging all the way from the Mona Lisa to the Last Supper, Leonardo had a very unique style of portraying his painting, as well as being extremely talented with his blends and bending of multiple colors. Not only was he apart of the famous Renaissance painters who changed the way we looked at Italy, but he was also an extremely intelligent and talented man who has greatly influenced artwork for hundreds of years and will continue for many more generations.
Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest minds of his time. Most will remember him for his many masterpieces including The Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and The Vitruvian Man. But he did more than just draw works of art; he was also an inventor and a mathematician who studied a large variety of subjects. Leonardo’s life is more fascinating than any one man could imagine. He may be dead, but his work still lives on.
The mysterious smile of the painting Mona Lisa and her tenderness directly carry my imagination to the Renaissance era. Before the Renaissance liberated the thought of the public, most artworks focused to eulogize the holiness of God. The Renaissance successfully freed people from the shackles of theology and affirmed the value of human beings. Mona Lisa represented the highest art level of the Renaissance and became an important legacy for later generations to feel the spirit of the Renaissance. In this paper, I argue that Mona Lisa was a representative artwork of the humanism spirit of the Renaissance. The artist Da Vinci who created Mona Lisa managed to express the charm of human beings with delicate brushwork, exquisite expressions and
Last Supper: Leonardo Da Vinci There has been few works of art that have created as much esteem, contestation and conjecture as The Last Supper, which was completed by Da Vinci in 1498. The painting depicts the scene of the last supper of Jesus with his disciples as depicted in the gospel of John 13:21: “When Jesus had said these things, he was troubled in the Spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” The painting shows all of the disciples, Bartholomew, James, Andrew, Judas, Peter, John, Thomas, James the greater, Philip, Matthew, Jude Thaddeus, and Simon the zealot, all which are surprised by the accusation that Jesus made onto them, as depicted by Leonardo Da Vinci. What is the most captivating about this painting is not what we know, but what we don’t know. In other words, it is the enigma of this painting that enamors.
Leonardo Da Vinci is considered by many to be one of the more influential people to grace this planet. He was, in today’s term, a Jack-of-all-Trades; scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and a writer (N.A 2014). Leonardo is also the creator of two world renown pieces, the Mona Lisa (1500, Louvre, Paris) and The Last Supper (1489, Milan, Italy) as well as a number of cartoons, sketches and anatomical studies. Many of Leonardo’s achievement went unnoticed for many years, some of them were and still are considered ‘Lost Leonardo’ (Sooke 2013).