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The Mona Lisa is a beautiful mystery and that is why she is
so sought after. Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most impressive painters
throughout history and the fact that he was the creator of this piece is one of
the reasons why she is of such value today. Leonardo da Vinci portrays the Mona
Lisa through his famous three-quarter pose, where the face is facing forward,
shoulders are turned three quarters toward the viewer, and the hands are
present. This pose revolutionized Renaissance paintings because previous portraits
showed profile figures that were stiff and almost unnatural. The Mona Lisa’s
posture seems more comfortable and calm and therefore makes her more amicable
and nurturing. Da Vinci studied anatomy and with his familiarity with the human
body, he was able to recreate the subjects features in an extremely realistic
way. Another aspect of this painting that showed uniqueness was the pyramidal
composition of the portrait. This consists of a wide base starting at her hands
and elbows and follows up to her head. This style of imagery is so important
because it draws the viewers to look at the “top of the pyramid” or her eyes as
the center of the viewers’ attention and the mouth is the periphery. Her face literally
draws you in. Being in the forefront of the painting, this is why her mysterious
smile is such a great topic for discussion. The Mona Lisa was painted with a
technique da Vinci created called Sfumato. This style was known as smoke or
without lines or borders. Through this technique, he was able to create seamless
transitions between light and dark in a somewhat elusive manor without hard
lines and contours. By using shading and layers, he was able to create three
dimensional features of depth, volume, and form within Mona Lisa herself and
between her and the background. This portrait has a theme of fluidity and
harmony that is vary calming and adds to the sense of realism seen in this
portrait.

The Mona Lisa is a gateway into the mysteries of Leonardo da
Vinci. There are many speculations about hidden symbols within the painting,
who the subject is, and secret layers beneath the surface. It is thought by
many that da Vinci ended up portraying her as a ‘female da Vinci’. This portrait
shows Leonardo’s outlook on the world, full of movement and energy.  

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Although the artistic ability of da Vinci is impressive to
art enthusiasts, we can’t rule out the attention it received after the Renaissance
as a big factor on why it is an icon today.  It was on display in the palace of King François
I, King Louis XIV, and Napoleon during their reign, which adds a bit of
historic value to it because it was always in a place of importance. When she
was stolen from the Louvre in 1911 she gained a lot of fame because of the
uproar it caused in France and the thought that it was stolen by famous artist,
Pablo Picasso. But, even though the buzz of drama might have led patrons in the
door, her sheer beauty showed people she is worth appreciating. 

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