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The Monalisa smile

Updated on June 18, 2011

Monalisa-the lady with the mystic smile

Leonardo Davinci 

The artist is the quintessential example of the Renaissance man. He was a mathematical genius,an inventor and visual artist. His painting, Monalisa, was a ground breaking artwork in its time and still mesmerizes today, albeit for different reasons.

Technical wizardry

Leonardo Davinci coined the term sfumato, a term meaning, without edges. He then employed this idea to his work where the "edge" is made by the tones and shades hazily blending into each other. What this does in a painting like the one in discussion, is give the work an air of mystery, a transcendent quality. This combined with the next point I will discuss, make the La Joconde, as it is also known, a rather special painting.

The Mystic smile

When I finally got my 10 minutes to stand in front of this painting in the Louvre, I was very disappointed at first. Chiefly because she is behind bullet proof glass, which is boxed and arope stops you from about a metre away. Taking what I could, I gave the paintng a chance and examined her smile. True to the tales,she does have a mystic smile. As you watch her, you wonder if she is happy or sad,smiling or about to slowly fade into sadness. Leonardo managed to strike a balance between a happy and sad face. This gives the painting an endearing appearance where one may choose to smile with her or feel her pain.

What so special about the Monalisa?

Not only was it a ground breaking painting of its time, it was and still is a very beautiful painting. Technically and aesthetically. Combining that with the afore mentioned smile,it is definitely a special painting.

The Lady with the mystic smile

The Monalisa painting by Leonardo DaVinci.
The Monalisa painting by Leonardo DaVinci. | Source


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    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      @glassvisage. You are most welcome.It was a treat and a disappointment at the same time

    • glassvisage profile image


      7 years ago from Northern California

      I'm glad that you were able to see this painting up close. So classic and so beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for the Hub and for sharing your insights.

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      @Epigramman-You are very kind,I am aspiring to be as sensitive and prolific as you are.

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ...well there's no secret here with me - your fine fine selection of hubs always make me smile - big time -because you have exquisite good taste and you are quite a renaissance man yourself !!!!!

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      Fun to hear what your thoughts are on that Sweetiepie

    • SweetiePie profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I think she was thinking of a secret, and would delight in knowing future generations are still trying to get inside her head. That is what I make of the Monalisa anyway. Her secret was probably mundane, but it keeps everyone wondering.

    • agvulpes profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for sharing the information about the Monalisa. I would love to see the original.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for this fine Hub. I, too, have been to the Louvre and my first destination was to see the Mona Lisa.


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