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Articles

  1. Front Matter
  2. Museum History Journal: Vol 8, No 1
  3. Air-Water-Land-Human: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Health and Environment in East Asia
  4. Rethinking the History of Artists' Pigments Through Chemical Analysis

The painting was one of the first portraits to depict the sitter in front of an imaginary landscape, and Leonardo was one of the first painters to use aerial perspective. Behind her, a vast landscape recedes to icy mountains. Winding paths and a distant bridge give only the slightest indications of human presence. Leonardo has chosen to place the horizon line not at the neck, as he did with Ginevra de' Benci , but on a level with the eyes, thus linking the figure with the landscape and emphasizing the mysterious nature of the painting.

Mona Lisa has no clearly visible eyebrows or eyelashes. Some researchers claim that it was common at this time for genteel women to pluck these hairs, as they were considered unsightly. He also found that in one layer the subject was depicted wearing numerous hairpins and a headdress adorned with pearls which was later scrubbed out and overpainted.

There has been much speculation regarding the painting's model and landscape. For example, Leonardo probably painted his model faithfully since her beauty is not seen as being among the best, "even when measured by late quattrocento 15th century or even twenty-first century standards. Research in by Professor Margaret Livingstone of Harvard University said that Mona Lisa's smile disappears when observed with direct vision, known as foveal.

Front Matter

Because of the way the human eye processes visual information, it is less suited to pick up shadows directly; however, peripheral vision can pick up shadows well. Research in by a geomorphology professor at Urbino University and an artist-photographer revealed likenesses of Mona Lisa ' s landscapes to some views in the Montefeltro region in the Italian provinces of Pesaro and Urbino , and Rimini. The Mona Lisa has survived for more than years, and an international commission convened in noted that "the picture is in a remarkable state of preservation.

A detailed analysis in by Madame de Gironde revealed that earlier restorers had "acted with a great deal of restraint.

Museum History Journal: Vol 8, No 1

Despite the treatments, the Mona Lisa has been well cared for throughout its history, and although the panel's warping caused the curators "some worry", [92] the โ€”05 conservation team was optimistic about the future of the work. At some point, the Mona Lisa was removed from its original frame. The unconstrained poplar panel warped freely with changes in humidity, and as a result, a crack developed near the top of the panel, extending down to the hairline of the figure. In the midth century to early 19th century, two butterfly-shaped walnut braces were inserted into the back of the panel to a depth of about one third the thickness of the panel.

This intervention was skilfully executed, and successfully stabilized the crack. Sometime between and , or perhaps during the picture's theft, the upper brace fell out. A later restorer glued and lined the resulting socket and crack with cloth. The picture is kept under strict, climate-controlled conditions in its bulletproof glass case. Because the Mona Lisa ' s poplar support expands and contracts with changes in humidity, the picture has experienced some warping.

In response to warping and swelling experienced during its storage during World War II, and to prepare the picture for an exhibit to honour the anniversary of Leonardo's th birthday, the Mona Lisa was fitted in with a flexible oak frame with beech crosspieces. This flexible frame, which is used in addition to the decorative frame described below, exerts pressure on the panel to keep it from warping further. In , the beech crosspieces were switched to maple after it was found that the beechwood had been infested with insects.

In โ€”05, a conservation and study team replaced the maple crosspieces with sycamore ones, and an additional metal crosspiece was added for scientific measurement of the panel's warp.

Air-Water-Land-Human: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Health and Environment in East Asia

The Mona Lisa has had many different decorative frames in its history, owing to changes in taste over the centuries. The edges of the painting have been trimmed at least once in its history to fit the picture into various frames, but no part of the original paint layer has been trimmed. The work involved cleaning with spirits, touch-up of colour, and revarnishing the painting. Denizard also retouched the edges of the picture with varnish, to mask areas that had been covered initially by an older frame. In , when the painting was recovered after its theft, Denizard was again called upon to work on the Mona Lisa.

Denizard was directed to clean the picture without solvent , and to lightly touch up several scratches to the painting with watercolour. In , the varnish layer over the background in the painting was evened out. After the second attack, restorer Jean-Gabriel Goulinat was directed to touch up the damage to Mona Lisa ' s left elbow with watercolour. In , a new insect infestation was discovered in the back of the panel as a result of crosspieces installed to keep the painting from warping.

This was treated on the spot with carbon tetrachloride , and later with an ethylene oxide treatment. In , the spot was again treated with carbon tetrachloride as a preventive measure. It is displayed in a purpose-built, climate-controlled enclosure behind bulletproof glass. The lamp has a Colour Rendering Index up to 98, and minimizes infrared and ultraviolet radiation which could otherwise degrade the painting. Today the Mona Lisa is considered the most famous painting in the world, but until the 20th century it was simply one among many highly regarded artworks.

Leonardo began to be revered as a genius, and the painting's popularity grew in the midth century when French intelligentsia praised it as mysterious and a representation of the femme fatale. The theft of the Mona Lisa and its subsequent return was reported worldwide, leading to a massive increase in public recognition of the painting. During the 20th century it was an object for mass reproduction, merchandising, lampooning and speculation, and was claimed to have been reproduced in " paintings and 2, advertisements".

In , the painting was exhibited in Tokyo and Moscow. In , 9. The insurance was not purchased; instead, more was spent on security. In , a France 24 article suggested that the painting could be sold to help ease the national debt, although it was noted that the Mona Lisa and other such art works were prohibited from being sold due to French heritage law, which states that "Collections held in museums that belong to public bodies are considered public property and cannot be otherwise.

Rethinking the History of Artists' Pigments Through Chemical Analysis

The Mona Lisa began influencing contemporary Florentine painting even before its completion. Raphael , who had been to Leonardo's workshop several times, promptly used elements of the portrait's composition and format in several of his works, such as Young Woman with Unicorn c. Zollner states that "None of Leonardo's works would exert more influence upon the evolution of the genre than the Mona Lisa. It became the definitive example of the Renaissance portrait and perhaps for this reason is seen not just as the likeness of a real person, but also as the embodiment of an ideal.

One is moved, troubled By the early 20th century, some critics started to feel the painting had become a repository for subjective exegeses and theories. The avant-garde art world has made note of the Mona Lisa ' s undeniable popularity. Because of the painting's overwhelming stature, Dadaists and Surrealists often produce modifications and caricatures. In , Marcel Duchamp , one of the most influential modern artists, created L. Duchamp added an inscription, which when read out loud in French sounds like "Elle a chaud au cul" meaning: "she has a hot ass", implying the woman in the painting is in a state of sexual excitement and intended as a Freudian joke.

Shearer , the apparent reproduction is in fact a copy partly modelled on Duchamp's own face. Raphael 's Young Woman with Unicorn , c. Raphael's Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione c.

However, since its restoration in , it is considered to have been executed by one of Leonardo's pupils in his studio at the same time as Mona Lisa was being painted. The restored painting is from a slightly different perspective than the original Mona Lisa , leading to the speculation that it is part of the world's first stereoscopic pair. A version of the Mona Lisa known as the Isleworth Mona Lisa and also known as the Earlier Mona Lisa was first bought by an English nobleman in and was rediscovered in by Hugh Blaker , an art connoisseur.

The painting was presented to the media in by the Mona Lisa Foundation. The painting is claimed by a majority of experts to be mostly an original work of Leonardo dating from the early 16th century. The Isleworth Mona Lisa. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

8 Artists on Painting

This article is about the painting. For other uses, see Mona Lisa disambiguation. Painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Main article: Lisa del Giocondo. See also: Mona Lisa replicas and reinterpretations. Main article: Mona Lisa Prado's version. Main article: Isleworth Mona Lisa.


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Johnson Reprint Corporation. In Vezzosi; Schwarz; Manetti eds. Mona Lisa: Leonardo's hidden face.


  1. Additional information.
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