The Mona Lisa Smile: My Interpretation

I have an interpretation of the Mona Lisa smile. I ask you, does it have any merit? In that painting are some features for which the painting became famous. Though I enjoy such art, my knowledge of such art is very limited, so you must tell me where I have gone wrong.

I have a brief book on that artist’s work, some in his own words, supplemented by commentary of art historians. There are some innovations in the painting, one being the depth perspective, exemplified by the fore-shortened arm of the model. Another is the coloring changes in nature that happen with distance, seen in the mountains at the back. Leonardo was the one who first caught those phenomena as aspects of nature. I think that the smile given the Mona Lisa at the center focus derives from an attitude the artist felt as he invented those features. He knew it. He was proud of it. I see a bit of smugness there, an excessive feeling of self-satisfaction. And it is justified, considering the critical appreciation and fame of that work of art.

Perhaps there is an art historian or expert who can tell me if such an observation has been made before.

(8-21-11) I have since learned that some art historian has overlaid the artist’s face and eyes onto the Mona Lisa’s eyes and face and seen a marked resemblance. As if the Mona Lisa subject of the painting is, as they said, “da Vinci in drag”. So they said. And that great artist has much to be, well, “smiling about”, in his innovations.

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