Masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance!
All of us are familiar with this piece of Art. We have a vague memory of this Portrait Painting from the history textbooks, but we hardly bothered going into the details of it.
The Portrait that we are going to observe today is of a beautiful, young and elegant Lady
Lisa Gherardini (1479 - 1542), also known as "Mona Lisa".
One of the greatest Masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci.
To start with, let us know a little more about her..
She was the wife of an affluent Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, an Italian noblewoman. Very little is known about her personal life though. She was probably 24-25 years old when she posed as a Model for this Portrait.
Back in the 16th Century, only elite class could afford to have their Portrait painted. Her husband commissioned this Painting to be completed by da Vinci.
Now, let us start with our Observation!
1) She sits on an armed chair, with both her hands folded, showing her reserved posture.
2) The veil that she is wearing, looks like it is made of fine silk, which covers her head, which represents her elite class.
3) It is said by the researchers that the landscape in the background existed in real life known as The Balze of Valdarno . If you observe closely, there is bridge like structure on the right of the Portrait, which is known as Ponte Gobbo (an Old Bridge), which was apparently destroyed by the river Trebbia in 1472.
4) The snow-clad Mountain ranges on the top left and top right of the Portrait are said to be Monte Canale and Monte Aquilone respectively by the researchers, which are on the same level as the Lisa's head, depicting her elegance, as shown below,
5) Leonardo used a foreshortening technique called Compression to depict a vast landscape in a smaller space.
6) One can see the mixture of different landscapes like the dry deserted land with a few hills on the left, a river flowing under the bridge on the right, and snowy Mountains on the top right and left, which is something significant and marvelous!
7) Her expressions are unusually lively.
It is believed that Leonardo da Vinci took almost 14 years to complete this Portrait, he began working on it probably around 1503 and kept on working on it till 1517.
The Portrait is today a property of French Republic and is on display at Louvre, Paris since 1797, and is worth $660 million!!