Who is the creator of the Mona Lisa?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In many respects, the Mona Lisa is a creation of Western imagination. From the Greeks to modern times, Western Man has been obsessed with notions of perfection and of ranking ("Comparisons are odious" is the other side of that argument).  Our civilization, in its existential desire to give meaning to a meaningless universe, has developed the (usually unspoken) assumption that by judging by ranking, we can justify our own self-exalted place at the top of the evolutionary scale.  The painting, whose actual name is The Gioconda Smile, is a construction of that assumption, an almost arbitrary symbol of what Umberto Eco and others consider "Beautifulness" -- the quality opposed to "Ugliness" -- which often reduces to a question of symmetry vs. nonsymmetry, expected vs. unexpected.  Its "mystery" is largely a construct of Western civilization's desire for the mysterious.

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mdgreen10 | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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The simple answer is that the Mona Lisa was created by Italian Renaissance artist, and Ninja Turtle, Leonardo da Vinci. 

The more interesting answer is that the Mona Lisa wasn't the world's most famous piece of art 100 years ago.  It wasn't until the art was stolen from the Louve that it became world-famous.

Today people line up for hours to view the masterpiece.  What makes it a masterpiece?  One aspect that many people don't know is how Leonardo drew the subject's arms and hands.  Until that time portraits were only the torso up and arms and hands weren't included.  But Leonardo wanted to make his painting more life-like.

The most interesting question is: where are her eyebrows?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The great Leonardo da Vinci, a leading figure of the Italian Renaissance, created the woman with the enigmatic smile and the eyes that seem to follow the viewer as he walks to the right side of her portrait. Indisputably the most famous painting in the world, it has, unfortunately, been over-exposed in countless reproductions. Nevertheless, the portrait's mysterious power over the imagination of millions of viewers is inexplicable by formal means; however, Walter Pater's famous invocation provides one explanation:

"She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampyre she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave...."

Further, Pater equates her with Helen of Troy, and with St. Anne, the mother of Mary. 

While da Vinci observed some of the formal techniques of Flemish portraiture with the half-turned pose and dress, he breaks from traditional portraiture in which the sitter is defined within a clear contouring line. Instead, da Vinci's lady, the wife of an influential Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo (even this is debated), sits amid a melting contour which leads the viewer's eye around the figure, thus igniting the imagination. Da Vinci also introduced new qualities that lend the figure life: ambiguity of mood, the illusion of movement and of time. In short, Leonardo breathed life into his intriguing woman. 

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mrsbruning | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Leonardo de Vinci created the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is an interesting painting because there have been many speculations by historians as to whom the model may have been but little proof. In 2005, researchers found a letter in the Heidelberg University in Germany written by Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari stating “Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife.” Researchers began searching for the Lisa Gherardini. In February of 2014, Italian art historians located her body in an Italian tomb, took DNA samples and began comparing them to the Mona Lisa. 

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eli468 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Originally know as "La Gioconda," the Mona Lisa was created by Leonardo da Vinci. He used oil paint as his medium and painted the image on poplar wood panel. Leonardo da Vinci created this painting between 1503 and 1506 when he was living in Florence, Italy. 

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