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Thursday, 21 July 2005
la Joconde

la Joconde

This is the portrait of the Mona Lisa (1479-1528), also known as La Gioconda, wife of Francesco del Giocondo; 1503-06 (150 Kb); Oil on wood, 77 x 53 cm (30 x 20 7/8 in); Musee du Louvre, Paris.

This remarkable painting, of a smiling and yet aloof woman is very famous and often copied. Leonardo used what he coined the sfumato technique (soft, smoking, blending of shades), and it was Leonardo’s favourite painting.  It has a certain fame, over and above the artist, engineer, inventor and philosopher who created it.  As a result everyone now looks at it through the prism of movies, advertisements, songs, books, posters, postcards, reviews, and many other expressions of popular culture.

The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911 (and returned 2 years later after having been discovered in Italy), and is now well guarded and protected so that visitors to the Louvre look at it through the prism of glass. Every time I have been to see it there is a crush of people in front of the glass and it is difficult to get a good look. Still we catch glimpses between head and shoulders of the persons in front of us. We take photographs, mostly of poor quality, jus so that we can show: I was there.

Posted by bigblue on 21/07/2005 at 09:56 PM
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