Presenting Monalisa who mocks you from a portrait drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s possible that you haven’t heard of Da Vinci, but it’s almost impossible that you don’t know about Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile.
Here’s The Caricaturist’s rendition of the “Greatest work of Art” in the world.
Countless historians have spent countless number of hours, days, and years, trying to answer two questions:
1. Who is Mona Lisa?
2. What does her smile mean?
What everyone knows is that Monalisa is a portrait done by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest artists of all times, who was really awful at completing his paintings. We’d never know how he motivated himself to complete this one but he managed it somehow. Monalisa won’t have become this famous if about 400 years of its being painted, a patriotic Italian won’t have tried to take it back to Italy, where he thought it belonged (forgetting completely that one of the many King Louis’ had bought it from Salai, the guy who had inherited the portrait from Leonardo da Vinci!) Anyway, Mona Lisa has lived in the Louvre Museum of Paris for most of its life and right now it’s better guarded and protected than the President of the US.
To cut a long post short, let’s quickly look at the possible answers to the two questions that many good people called art historians have spent the best parts of their lives, trying to answer!
Mona Lisa – Who’s she?
Honestly speaking, nobody knows. Here are some possibilities though.
Mona Lisa is:
- Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait.
- Salai, his buffoon-of-a-pupil and possible lover’s portrait.
- A pregnant Italian Noblewoman’s portrait (La Gioconda?)
- A poor unfortunate woman’s portrait.
Why is the woman (?) in the Mona Lisa portrait smiling? What’s behind that smile?
I guess this is a question that people have been asking ever since 1911 – the year in which Mona Lisa became famous because she was stolen.
Of course, interpretations abound; but here’s my viewpoint.
The “person” in the painting is smiling because:
- Leonardo da Vinci winked at him/her.
- Leonardo told a lawyer’s joke while he was painting.
- Salai, his pupil of a “special nature” told Leonardo a vegetarian joke (because Leonardo was a vegetarian) and he/she overheard it.
- Melzi, his other pupil of another “special nature” told Leonardo that Salai had finally made a recognizable portrait.
- Leonardo da Vinci didn’t realize that he had paint on his nose.
- The “person” was a man dreaming of a portrait of him riding a horse.
- The “person” was a woman dreaming of a portrait with jewels around her neck.
- The “person” was an alien wondering why Leonardo da Vinci couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be an engineer, an anatomist, a sculptor, a metal worker, or an artist…for artssakes!
And if these aren’t enough reasons for you to choose from, click here to discover what the experts have to say about Monalisa and her smile.
Amy asked me to leave the caricature untitled – so untitled it is. What in your opinion is the reason behind her smile?
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Thanks Ugly Shoelace…but why ugly…and worn out?
Oh when I was registering for a blog, nothing creative came to my mind so I chose Ugly Worn-Out Shoelace instead. Also my chuck taylors were lying in front of me. Maybe that’s where the inspiration came from. Heh 😀
Thanks for an illuminating explanation:) Welcome here.
Why is Monalisa frowning here, Shafali? How could Monalisa be da Vinci’s self-portrait!? I think she is content with life, that’s why that enigmatic smile. 🙂
Ah…good question. How could it ever be his self-portrait. Well, if you know artists, you’d know that they are vain people who walk the tightrope between doing their best in painting and looking their best. I guess, this portrait could’ve been the result of one such tussle…
May be she is smiling thinking how her caricature would look… And finally here it is… 😀
As always amazing work…. 🙂
I know…I know. She must’ve had the same thoughts that the subjects of my prospective portraits have – will it be a portrait or a caricature? After all Da Vinci was among the first caricaturists of the civilized (?) world.
Nah, she isn’t smiling in your caricature, she’s grimacing at her mate who has just told her that Leony Darling is gay.
Aha! Ian, you caught those squigglies on her forehead – didn’t you? But that is an interesting explanation, which we can accept provided we accept that Monalisa was a woman. Food for thought.
She was the cleaning lady who was grabbed and told to sit for a portrait. She’s thinking, “How long do I have to sit here and stare at that damned stain in the couch?”
And, I loved your drawing! Great to see SOME expression!
Thank you – I stole the expression from my face when I had to go through a dear friend’s monologue on the “Art of Living” (http://www.artofliving.org/in-en)
Interesting…especially the grabbing (from behind?) part! You could expect that from Leonardo, especially if the cleaning lady was a cross-dressing man:) Love your interpretation, Amy. Thanks for commenting:)
First of all I loved your caricature! it’s making me smile silly like Monalisa
I think Monalisa was a Psychic; and she was thinking about what a fool they all were!! The smile was a mocking one coz she couldn’t help thinking about the fame and money this moment would bring years later….when all of them would be resting in their coffins 😥 😛
Thanks for your perspicacious comment, AD. I guess you must be right about Monalisa being a psychic – that look on her face…but I don’t know how sure she’d be of resting in her coffin…with grave-digging anatomists like Leonardo da Vinci prowling around the cemeteries in the night.