Da Vinci’s ‘La Joconde’ better known as Mona Lisa has captivated the hearts and minds of millions for several hundreds of years since its conception. It is truly a great work of art in that it is basically simple yet its true life approach makes it one of the most desirable paintings ever to grace a collection of great masters.
Principally, La Joconde contains a visual expression of a woman in the height of her prime. Her staring gaze is undeterred by what is going on around her; she almost seems to be completely fixated with what is in the foreground demonstrating that life has a particular meaning to her. The facial expression is also dominated by largish eyes and an almost faint hinted edge of a smile although that is debatable.
The composition of the work is simple in that it makes use of pastel oils which form an intrinsic part of the material on offer. This also means that the subject has a certain brilliance about her which is instantly recognizable in this sense as well as a directness which is rather magisterial.
The identity of the woman in the painting has long been the subject of intense debate and this also means that the speculation on it will continue for a long time to come. Many have said that ‘La Joconde’ was Leonardo’s lover or close friend but the fact that he was rumoured to be homosexual seems to put paid to that argument. Others have speculated that she was some sort of helper or benefactress and this could be closer to the truth although nothing has ever been proven in this regard.
Most of all the painting truly demonstrates the beauty and intrinsic wonderment of Leonardo’s capabilities when he was at the height of his powers as an artist. One cannot deny that this is truly one of the great paintings of the age and its value is surely unquestionable. Visually the painting is not only striking but it is also extremely beautiful in every respect from the expression of ‘La Joconde’ onto the wonderment of the background and the subject’s attire.
The composition of the materials which include oils and pastels add to the soft almost erotic touch of the painting. It is surely extremely sensual, especially the colour of the skin which comes across as extremely beautiful and light shaded, edifying a portrait of intrinsic wonderment and astonishing clarity on all counts. Yet one must also account for the personal relationship that Leonardo must have had with the sitter who seems to speak with us from beyond the grave, this portrait is surely her calling card for posterity in more ways than one.
Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many talents and also perhaps of many vices. Yet his capacity to thrill with this great painting has never been underestimated. It is surely one of the great paintings of the age and with its combination of beautiful colours and real life postures it speaks to our hearts with a directness that cannot be underestimated. It is definitely one of the greatest paitings of all time and deserves every accolade awarded to it.
Pioch N (2006): La Joconde Retrieved from: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/vinci/joconde/ 14.02.2012, Web