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Describe in artistic words what draws you to the image of the Mona Lisa.

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mavig | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:24 PM via web

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Describe in artistic words what draws you to the image of the Mona Lisa.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM (Answer #1)

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The elusive nature of the painting, in terms of where its attraction lies, is a part of its allure.  Indeed, I think that one of the most significant artistic elements about the painting is the centered effect that one experiences when seeing the subject in the middle of the painting.  The manner in which da Vinci is able to place her in the centrepoint of the entire painting is stunning.  At the same time, I think that there is a very powerful dynamic created between artwork and subject.  As the viewer seeks to better place the woman in the center of the artwork, studying her facial elements enables the viewer to be drawn into the center of her world.  She is inviting in terms of her eyes and demeanor to the viewer.  Thus, we see her as the center of the painting's universe and, in turn, she sees us, almost enticing to us, to become a center of hers.  As the average viewing time for the painting at the Louvre is only a couple of seconds, it is this inviting countenance that is part of the allure.  In the brief moments we have with the painting, she invites us into her world, a world in which millions have become a part, if only for a second.  That is why the viewer is almost a part of the painting as much as she is.  Part of this study is on her smile and wondering what lies beneath it.  In this, the analysis of the complexity within human emotions and human experience is also evident, adding yet another layer to how the aesthetic development of the artwork becomes something more profound and more meaningful to it.  It is in these realms where I think that there is a drawing into the viewing of the artwork.

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