Mona Lisa is one of the world most famous paintings, painted by Leonardo da Vinci – an Italian artist-. Mona Lisa portrait a property of French Republic displayed in Louvre museum in Paris since 18th century was painted in the 16th century. Mona Lisa is a half-length painting of woman believed to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco delGiocondo. Mona Lisa is well protected in Louvre museum behind a bullet proof glass. Mona Lisa is also the most valued painting in the world with a valued at $760 million in 2012 which is 7.6 times its value in 1962. The portrait attracts over six million people per year (Tovrov, 2011).
The painting, Mona Lisa has many features that make it famous and attractive, like her beauty and the mystery that surrounds the painting. But the most remarkable feature that attracts all is her smile. The woman in the picture smile is recognizable from a distance. The smile tends to emerge from one of her well painted corners of the mouth. Mona Lisa smile is one of a kind which brings mixed reactions to many people. The smile brings out different and mixed reactions; happiness which is most visible and deduced, a fearful and confident woman not easily intimidated, a little disgusted and angry which is least visible and deduced.
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Earlier scholars have also been seen trying to explain the mystery behind Mona Lisa’s smile. For example, according to Sigmund Freud, Mona Lisa portrait is of Leonardo da Vinci’s mother and the smile signifies passionate devotion towards Leonardo da Vinci (Kobbé, 1916). Sigmund Freud argues that Leonardo da Vinci did not know his mother, so he creates a perfect and beautiful illusion of her in his mind and present the illusion in a painting, with a smile showing him undivided attention and love (Kobbé, 1916). Many scholars have tried to explain the mystery behind Mona Lisa smile but they are not yet satisfactory to the public. Explanation and critics of Mona Lisa smile goes from simply visual deductions to scientific explanations of how human visions works.
Mona Lisa smile has been a subject of many; different people scholars, artists, and even common people with different interpretations and deductions. Recent explanations and deductions of Mona Lisa smile interpret it as of that of demonic charm with mixtures of hidden innocence and devoted tenderness. The demonic charm interpretation of the smile shows a woman with a complicated love-life, dominance with a seductive nature. Mona Lisa smile still remains a mystery to be solved.
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From the deduction that trails the portrait – Mona Lisa- the mystery smile, I do not think it has diminished the status of the original painting but rather it has enhanced it. Leonardo da Vinci painted Mona Lisa as a mystery to be solved. Mona Lisa picture portrays a picture of a woman with hidden personality which is had to crack. In most ancient pieces of art, the paintings contained no facial expressions such as a smile and were painted when one was standing or sitting still in order to harness their posture and ensure maximum concentration to the painter. Therefore, Mona Lisa smile was intentional and makes the portrait unique and different from other portraits. The unveiling attention to the Mona Lisa smile enhances the originality of the portrait and continues to present the message Leonardo da Vinci was passing across when he painted the picture. The mystery put across by Leonardo da Vinci continues to enhance the originality of the picture because up to date there is no conclusive explanation of Mona Lisa’s smile and remains a mystery to be solved.
Mona Lisa portrait has been borrowed and used in many advertisements across the globe. One of the recognizable advertisement featuring Mona Lisa portrait is of an Italian cancer campaign. In this Italian cancer campaign it features the portrait of a bald Mona Lisa signifying the effects of cancer which includes someone losing their hair (Abc, 2013). The campaign aim is to show the effects associated with cancer and at the same time remind cancer diagnosed patients that cancer does not change or alter their value, they may lose their hair but their social status and value remains. The Italian cancer campaign portrait of bald Mona Lisa is positive move and a form of encouragement to all cancer patients and all those dealing with cancer diagnosed loved ones and family.
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Mona Lisa portrait is also used to advertise pizza in a famous pizza point in Italy. The portrait is of a model posing as Mona Lisa eating a crust of pizza (Coloribus, 2013). The picture is a marketing strategy for Pizza Hut Centre where they use this famous portrait to attract customers in the food store. Pizza Hut uses a Mona Lisa portrait, something people can identify in and feel comfortable while they are dining at Pizza Hut.
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