Performing Arts Writing: Mona Lisa, Lisa Gherardini (Essay Sample)
THIS PAPER WAS ALL ABOUT WRITING PERSONAL OPINION ON ANY FAMOUS PIECE OF ART (MY CLIENT CHOSE MONA LISA PAINTING). IN ADDITION, I WAS TO COMPARE MY PERSONAL OPINION WITH THOSE OF TWO OTHER PEOPLE; EITHER HISTORIAN OR BIOGRAPHER. FINALLY, I WAS TO REVIEW MY OPINION BASED ON THE OPINIONS OF THE TWO.source..
Mona Lisa is an oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Painting in the early sixteenth century. It is one of the most famous pieces of art. It is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini; who was a wife Francesco Del Giaconda, an Italian Merchant and aristocrat. The painting is currently situated in France; and for a long time, it has attracted thousands of tourists. Mona Lisa was painted in Florence, Italy. King Francis I of France acquired it in later years and at the moment, the painting is under the ownership of French Republic.
As stated by Gage, “Image has a thesis, it makes a claim, just like sentence that make assertion…” (Gage 65). The painting can be analyzed in various ways; from the perspective of general aesthetics, deeper meaning, and the reasons why Leonardo painted it among other auxiliaries such as the social, cultural and political aspects at the time of painting. While looking at the features shown in the painting, it will also be important to understand the reasons behind the painting. From a quick glance, she appears to have a self-assure demeanor. Her calmness, eyes and faint smile portrays mystery. Her eyes are deep and covert. This brings out her composure. The painting also shows her crossed hands and body from the waist upwards; therefore depicting someone who is confidence and self-assured. It is hard to put her into specific social or economic class. This is largely due to conservative form of dressing and appearance. Her faint smile also appears to be more than just normal. It portrays personal qualities such as contentment, confidence and conservativeness. Mona Lisa has been painted sitting on a chair, and her body is slightly twisted to face the painter. One of her arm is placed on the chair to support her upright posture.
The painting provides finer details of her skin, chin, eyebrows and even hair. The skin appears to be smooth and free from any patches or freckles. It also appears that the painter was able to bring out the aspect of light and shadows of her features. She does not have eyebrows or any sort of hair on her face. Maybe this can be attributed to shaving. She has a wide chin and brown curly hair.
Apart from her body, the painting shows the surrounding area, probably where Mona Lisa was standing. From the painting, a road passing through some small ridges can be seen. This brings out a clear contrast between the soft demeanor of Mona Lisa and the rugged landscape at her back. There is a small bridge on her right side. The landscape brings out what appears like unfamiliar lands, with roads leading to distance places. In addition, the landscape creates a surreal, strange and dream-like atmosphere. This topographic expression juxtaposes the image of Mona Lisa; which is contrarily heartwarming and welcoming.
OTHER PEOPLE”S REVIEWS
* Giorgio Vasari
Vasari, an Italian architect, historian, painter and biographer, wrote some of the famous books such as Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects and Life of Leonardo Da Vinci. The latter book depicts his opinion and reviews on Mona Lisa painting. Vasari was born in the year 1574 and from his formative years, he portrayed high level of skills in arts. He became friends with Michelangelo, and the latter’s style of painting would greatly influence Vasari. In his book, Life of Leonardo Da Vinci, Vasari writes about the works of Da Vinci, clearly bring out the aspects of surrounding them.
In his work, Vasari states that Leonardo left the painting unfinished; having spent close to four years working on it. Vasari is full of praises on the work of Leonardo. He describes Mona Lisa as a masterpiece of art which attracted a huge number of visitors from all over Florence. In addition, Vasari states that the painting of Mona Lisa led to commissioning of Leonardo Da Vinci to paint other works. It is through his writings that we are able to learn that the King of France, Francis I, acquired all rights to the property. In his writings, Vasari states that Leonardo employed the services of singers and buffoons to entertain Mona Lisa (wife of Franceso del Giocondo). The reason behind this, as stated by Vasari, was to make her smile. Most of portraits made by the artists in that era depicted an ambience of melancholy. To avoid this, Leonardo thought that it would be important to make her smile. Vasari attributes the actions of Leonardo to the smiling face of Mona Lisa the painting. He goes ahead to describe it as a peaceful smile which is more divine than earthly based. In his description of Mona Lisa, Vasari states that “…seeing that the eyes had that lustre and watery sheen which are always seen in life, and around them were all those rosy and pearly tints, as well as the lashes, which cannot be represented without the greatest subtlety…” (Vasari)
He goes ahead to give details of her aesthetic features such as eyebrows, skin and nose. In his description, Mona Lisa’s eyes have a watery sheen which reflects the real human body. Her opening mouth seems to be more than just colors; it portrays a real life flesh. In his own words, Vasari terms the painting as masterfully crafted in such a manner that any person who sees it ends up loving it.
What stand out in Vasari’s description of Mona Lisa are her features. He describes every detail of Mona Lisa’s face and terms them a true embodiment of real life image. A deeper analysis of Vasari’s writings show that Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting was a depiction the women in that society. From his writing, he stated that Mona Lisa was so ‘real’ that any person, who viewed it, could definitely love it. The fact that Vasari confides that Leonardo’s painting was a portrait of a woman by that name, enables us to know one or two things about the Florence’s society at that particular time and era.
* Walter Pater
Walter Horatio Pater was born in England in the year 1839. He was an art and literary critic and an essayist. He is attributed with several classical works which mostly criticized the Renaissance arts and literary works. One of his major works is on criticism of Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. He analyses the painting through figuring it artistic features on the lenses of Leonardo Da Vinci. His analysis of Leonardo’s work is among his most acclaimed works. In his own words, Mona Lisa is the truest, most ideal and the ultimate masterpiece of Leonardo Da Vinci. He goes ahead to describe Mona Lisa as a representation of the old time and at the same time depiction of the modern era.
In his opinion, Mona Lisa painting cannot be fixed into a specific era or time; in contrary, the painting showcase timeless features. “Certainly Lady Lisa might stand as the ...
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