Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
|Courtesy of www.renaissanceart.org|
The most popular theory about the female subject's identity is that she is Lisa Gheradini. Gheradini was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo who was a cloth merchant in Florence. However the painting never ended up in Giocondo's possession and instead remained with Leonardo until his death. It then became part of Francois I's art collection.
The female subject is dressed plainly with no indication of high societal status. The veil that covers her hair has sometimes been interpreted as an indication of mourning. She appears sitting in the half portrait that includes her torso and delicately folded arms. Ample space above her head and to the sides reveals a finely controlled landscape in the background.
Leonardo's seamless cohesion between the landscape in perspective to the woman's figure was new to his work. The landscape behind represents the subject's own grasp upon the idea of happiness and reveals a transition. Warm colors at the same level as her chest show an inhabited land and then shift towards a faraway uninhabitable horizon line in blue hues that appear at the same level as her eyes. Upon her lips an indicative smile hints at her mysterious character.
The Mona Lisa is housed as part of the permanent collection of the Louvre in Paris.