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Greatest Of All Time – GOAT: ARTIST Leonardo da Vinci – Mona Lisa

As an artist you study the Masters. The critics know the best artists copy great art as expressions of skill or as a tribute.  The goal is another masterpiece.  The opinion of this artist is the greatest of all time artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci and his body of work sets the bar.  If you explore his technical books of brainstorm explorations you see the revelations of genius and applied mechanical engineering, be it for human service or for war or the love of flight.  The process of discovering Leonardo works exposes a level of thought and images of communication at much deeper perhaps political or moral symbolic levels.  And his artistic obsession with the “Mona Lisa”.   The subject is claimed to be the wife of wealthy merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, Lisa del Giocondo and Leonardo’s  impression of her mourning beauty and the facial expression of content for eternity.  History records he toted the white poplar panel oil painting with him in a wooden box for 16 years.  It inquires, that the painting was a work of passion and has to contain more than just the most famous enigmatic smile in history. Perhaps as a testament to a deeper purpose than just a portrait of a veiled mourning woman, sitting in a pozzetto chair in a window framed mystic, fiery and foggy laced landscape.

The original famous artwork located at the Louvre in Paris France (77 x 53 cm / 21″x30″ ) is recreated on a 18″ x 24″ canvas format in mixed media, color pencil and acrylic paint.  The painting was really inspired from the new digital color “remastering of the painting”  as seen on YouTube or the PBS program.  Which attempted to recreate the original mixed oil colors and details pixel by pixel as it would have been seen in the lifetime of Leonardo.  https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/mona-lisa-digital-makeover/


Studying the image rendition for weeks while painting attempting to recreate the image.  Any artist will discover the recreation challenge.  The surprise was I discovered the numerous very small subtle artistic, low contrast images or self portraits or portraits or faces in low contrast “hidden or overlayed”  around and within on the main subject.  As the painting was rotated 90 degrees more directional very small facial impression were revealed.  Many have perceived the numerous hidden animals  in the  cloudy background perhaps representing economic, religious or political influences of the times.

Some of these symbolic impressions are difficult to see or visualize unless the art is printed and magnified.  Hard to visualize by some, like seeing a rabbit in the clouds.  For example the face of Leonardo with a hat is seen on the subjects dress, upper right top shoulder sleeve.  Also the face of a bearded man or an image of perhaps his friend or Jesus in the main lower arm section.  Other faces or head views are buried in the lower left hand corner of the subject’s dress or vail.  The subjects left arm has a crawling serpent or snake seen biting the finger or crawling up the sleeve. The subjects right arm has a man’s face looking up to the main subject.

The discovery of the hidden or deeper symbolic images or purpose Leonardo had for his Mona Lisa brought me closer to the deeper purpose of art.  As not a just a piece of canvas with colors distributed in to shapes and textures.  It is not the individual original colors but the blend of colors with edges, space and time to view the art from his tiny brush points sfumato view.  The smaller points on top of points  blend to images that all combine to communicate his wholistic vision of beauty.  And the battles of complimentary colors  to express joy and depression or good and evil clouded in his true objectives of a deeper purpose on Mona Lisa as a lasting impression on the soul.  I believe Leonardo wanted his Mona Lisa to be his statement for artistic insights and eternity.  For many artists who are also inventors and under engineering physics, who have studied his works, he succeeded in launching the inquiry to his vision of the forces of eternal smile in the renaissance of the age.

Hope you enjoy her too.  w2

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