I Never Understood This Fascination with the Mona Lisa

April 9, 2011

Culture

The painting is FIVE HUNDRED years old. People are *still* wrapped up in the Mona Lisa.

I was an art major in school. I took art history, art theory, art art art. Overwhelmingly, there was this strange fascination with Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The adoring attention always baffled me. It’s a very nice painting of an unknown lady who plucked her eyelashes for fashion (or so I’ve heard, in one of the gadzillion articles about the painting). WHO CARES. ??

What sparks this post is an article I read on the BBC: Mona Lisa Mystery Could Be Solved By Woman’s Remains. The story reports that an art historian thinks that Lisa Gherardini, wife of a wealthy Florence merchant, may be the lady behind the painting. He would like to exhume her body, extract DNA and rebuild her face. I like history an awful lot, but wow! That’s pretty intense.

Other reports I’ve heard state that there are “hidden symbols” embedded in the the Mona Lisa painting. I don’t know– I’m rather skeptical– hidden symbols?! Come on, is this just fodder for another wacky Dan Brown novel?

Maybe da Vinci was short on paper, and he used the canvas for a doodling pad before he painted the portrait. Or maybe he really did insert hidden symbols– maybe he inserted the following:

“Will you guys quit fussing over obscure details and enjoy the painting already!” Signed, The Little d

What do you think? Do you stay up late pondering the enigmatic mysteries of the Mona Lisa? Or do you nod your head, keep walking, and pass on to see the other stuff at the museum?

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6 Responses to “I Never Understood This Fascination with the Mona Lisa”

  1. Remnants Says:

    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one that isn’t enthralled with the Mona Lisa. And you an art major, makes me feel better. LOL

  2. Norwegian Phoenix Says:

    I’m also not particularly enthralled with the Mona Lisa, and while I graduated from the art, I was a fashion merchandising major(although they still felt I needed massive amounts of art history). It sounds like the guy willing to dig up human remains and recreate her bone structure got some kind of crazy grant to do it. There’s no way someone just goes and does that for fun (or do they?). It does sound like a Dan Brown novel. šŸ™‚

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Tiny Says:

    To me, she just likes an old nun who could use a bloody good seeing to! šŸ™‚

  4. Secondary Roads Says:

    I don’t get it either.

  5. Kris Says:

    I always kind of felt bad that I couldn’t care less – now I know I’m not the only one!

  6. Tracy Says:

    After seeing it in person, it ain’t much.