Do you ever wonder why so many people are fascinated with the Mona Lisa? After all, it is just a painting and nothing more. In fact, it is a painting of a rather plain and ordinary woman. Some say that it is the painter himself, Leonard Da Vinci. If so, so what? Does it really matter? Not to me it doesn’t. I saw the Mona Lisa up close, or as close to as possible seeing how it is enclosed in bullet proof glass to protect it from the masses that visit each day at the Louvre Museum in Paris, potential thieves etc. So, again I ask, why are so many so fascinated with a painting of a rather plain looking ordinary woman from hundreds of years ago? Is it the fascination that no one knows who she was? Is it the fascination that it maybe Da Vinci himself? I don’t get it. Do you?
At least a dozen excellent replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, many of them by the master’s students. The proliferation of Mona Lisas reflects, at least in part, the subject’s almost immediate embodiment of the ideal woman—beautiful, enigmatic, receptive, and still just out of reach.
Over the centuries this quintessential woman has taken on a new life in popular culture. In the 20th century alone, her iconic status was mocked in schoolboy fashion—the addition of a mustache and goatee to a postcard reproduction—in Marcel Duchamp’s readymade, L.H.O.O.Q. (1919). His irreverent defacing of this best known of iconic paintings expressed the Dadaists’ scorn for the art of the past, which in their eyes was part of the infamy of a civilization that had produced the horrors of the First World War just ended. Andy Warhol too took aim at the painting’s status, in his 1963 serigraph Mona Lisa.
Mona Lisa has also been the subject in music. References in the visual arts have been complemented by musical examinations. La Giaconda’s personality and quirks were examined in a 1915 opera by Max von Schillings. Leonardo’s portrait is also the inspiration for the classic song “Mona Lisa” by American lyricist Ray Evans and songwriter Jay Harold Livingston. There even exists the Mona Lisa foundation which strictly exists for the Mona Lisa, and celebrating Da Vinci’s earlier version of the painting
Mona Lisa is a painting by Leonard Da Vinci. He has painted many works, but the world remains fixated on this one. True, it is a work of art. But is it really worth all the hype thrust upon it? Don't get me wrong. I'm a big art lover. I love to draw, but I'm not good enough to be called an artist, and never claimed to be. I love going to art galleries and admiring other's works of arts. I just don’t think there is anything special about Mona Lisa, but that is just my opinion. What’s yours? What do you think of the Mona Lisa? Do you feel that it deserves to be elevated to a position of near idolatry, or is it just another painting for you? Let’s talk….
For more information about “Mona Lisa”
Mona Lisa: Why So Famous? Watch the YouTube Video:
Mona Lisa: http://lairweb.org.nz/leonardo/mona.html
The Mona Lisa - by Leonardo Da Vinci:
The Mona Lisa Foundation: http://monalisa.org/
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