Gioconda of Leonardo da Vinci
She is sitting in a gallery, looking at the sides, cut, the bases of columns. The model lacks of eyebrows and eyelashes, possibly by a restoration too aggressively in past centuries, which would have eliminated the glazes or minor strokes that were painted. The lady directed her look slightly to her left and she is showing a smile considered enigmatic, the called leonardesque smile.
The left arm is resting on the chair. The right hand rests on the left. This posture conveys an impression of serenity and that the portrayed character dominates her feelings.
Leonardo da Vinci embodies the quintessential Renaissance man, for the many forms of learning that attracted his attention. As a painter, is the figure who exemplifies the transition from the Cinquecento to Quattrocento. His artworks are not really many, but of great importance for the history of painting. Stand out his contribution to the sfumato technique, which consists in blurring the shadows of the person painted until merge with the dark background.
During the Cinquecento, the artistic center moved to Rome. The art is amplified in simplification. The theme of major proportions, is unified by eliminating secondary scenes. Cinquecentist people are which synthesize the large progress in the Quattrocento, defining the essence of the High Renaissance: formal perfection. After them, artists will only copy their creations, resulting in the movement called Mannerism.
In the early XV century starts the culmination of a slow process of recovery of the models of classical antiquity, which had been developing in earlier periods. This round was started and soon acquired a high profile in Italy, where there has always been resistance to imported styles from the rest of Europe, where the memory of Roman art could be seen every day. So the Renaissance arose, word said by the painter Vasari, which refers to the revival of Greco-Roman culture and civilization. The Renaissance is divided into Quattrocento (XV century) and Cinquecento (XVI century). The Cinquecento leads to an anticlassical reaction called Mannerism, which lasts until the end of the XVI century.
In conclusion, the Gioconda is a very enigmatic masterpiece. The look, the smile, and the pose of the model, together with the technique that the master Leonardo had, make this painting a masterpiece of painting. So much that it has become an icon.
It is currently in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.