Not only has the Mona Lisa been damaged by darkening layers of dirt and varnish

Not only has the Mona Lisa been damaged by darkening layers of dirt and varnish

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Not only has the  Mona Lisa  been damaged by darkening layers of dirt and varnish, but it  has been practically ruined by its own fame: who today can approach that famous smile  with a fresh eye? Yet one gains much from a closer look. First, the head is round and full  of flesh, in contrast to the flat, misshapen head of the  Portrait of Ginevra de Benci  of  1474. Leonardo's painterly career can be described as a quest for the perfect female  head. The  Mona Lisa  is also relatively mute in its coloration–that is, its light coloring is  due not only to fading, but due somewhat to the artist's intentions. Leonardo's  preference for the shadows, veils, and sfumato possible in oil painting reaches its  culmination in this portrait, where color and light are in perfect subservience to volume.  The background here is typical of Leonardo's work: rocky crags and mists. 
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/13/2011 for the course ART 2313 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at Texas State.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online