Mona Lisa


Mona Lisa
(1503; Paris, Louvre)
   The Mona Lisa is Leonardo da Vinci's most recognized masterpiece and the central icon of the Renaissance. According to Giorgio Vasari, the female depicted in this portrait is Mona Lisa di Antonio Maria Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine banker. This identification has been accepted by most, though some scholars have suggested other possible sitters, including Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan; a mistress of Giuliano de' Medici; and even Leonardo himself. Speculation as to why she smiles has also been raised, with suggestions varying from a woman following the aristocratic conventions of the day to Leonardo's fixation on his mother. A diagnosis of bruxism, the grinding of teeth resulting from anxiety, has also been made. Vasari wrote that Leonardo hired musicians and singers to amuse Mona Lisa as she sat for the portrait, which might provide another logical explanation. The work has been cut down. Originally, the figure was flanked by columns that attached to the still partially visible balustrade on which she rests her hands, this known from early copies of the painting. The importance of this work lies in the fact that, with it, Leonardo established a new portrait type. Previously in Italy, the likenesses of women were captured in profile in a nonrealistic manner, the emphasis on the sitter's social standing and luxurious costumes and jewelry. Mona Lisa is a frontal, naturalistically rendered figure set against a detailed landscape that echoes the curves of her hair and garments. There are no hints of luxury. Instead the focus is on the woman and her psyche. She is a living, breathing individual, a far cry from the flattened representations of the past. Her verism prompted Vasari to comment that when glancing at the figure one could swear her pulse was beating on the pit of her throat.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mona Lisa (EP) — Mona Lisa EP by MBLAQ Released …   Wikipedia

  • Mona Lisa — (izg. mȍna líza) ž DEFINICIJA lik. slika Leonarda da Vincija nastala 1503 1506, prekretnica u portretnom slikarstvu; popularna po diskretnom osmjehu, koji se često proglašava »tajanstvenim« …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Mona Lisa — from 1923, in reference to an enigmatic smile or expression like that in Leonardo DaVinci s painting. First attested in D.H. Lawrence …   Etymology dictionary

  • Mona Lisa —    Drame de Neil Jordan, avec Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane.   Pays: Grande Bretagne   Date de sortie: 1986   Technique: couleurs   Durée: 1 h 40    Résumé    Un truand sort de prison. Pour l aider, on en fait le… …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Mona Lisa — [mō΄nə lē′sə, lē′zə] n. a famous portrait of a faintly smiling woman, by Leonardo da Vinci: also called La Gioconda …   English World dictionary

  • Mona Lisa — Leonardo da Vinci, 1503–1519 Öl auf Pappelholz, 77 cm × 53 cm Louvre Mona Lisa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mona Lisa — This article is about the painting. For other uses, see Mona Lisa (disambiguation). Mona Lisa Italian: La Gioconda, French: La Joconde …   Wikipedia

  • Mona Lisa — /moh neuh lee seuh, lee zeuh/ (Italian, La Gioconda), a portrait (1503? 05?) by Leonardo da Vinci. * * * ▪ painting by Leonardo da Vinci Introduction  oil painting on a poplar wood panel by the Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and …   Universalium

  • Mona Lisa — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Mona Lisa peut faire référence à : La Joconde, une peinture de Léonard de Vinci, Lisa Gherardini (5 juin 1479, Florence 15 juillet 1542 ou vers 1551) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mona Lisa — noun a) A painting by , widely considered as the most famous painting in history. Its a pretty picture, but its no Mona Lisa. b) Any piece of art that is exceptional …   Wiktionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.