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- 1991: British Council Award to exhibit in USA
- 1992: Arts Award, Bournemouth Borough Council
- 1994: Openshaw Printmaking Award, Lowick House, Cumbria
- 1995: Arts Council of England, Development Grant
- 1996-97: Printmaking Residency, Lowick House, Cumbria
- 1997: Publication of monograph to accompany retrospective exhibition
- 1999: Research & Scholarship Award, Arts Institute at Bournmouth
Mona Lisa is the famous oil on wood painting; portraying a woman sitting amidst the picturesque landscape. It is indefinitely the most celebrated work of the Italian artist of the Renaissance period, Leonardo Da Vinci. This portrait of La Gioconda is one of the most valuable paintings in the world and is kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The art can neither be bought nor sold. The article revolves around the mysteries and interesting facts concerning the masterpiece of Leonardo Da Vinci.
“MONA LISA” IS NOT HER NAME
“Mona Lisa” roughly translates to My Lady Lisa, but this is not the original name of the woman portrayed in the painting. The subject of the picture is presumed to be Lisa Gherardini who is the wife of Francesco Del Gioconda hence the underrated alternate titles; La Gioconda or La Jaconda. She was 24 years old and a mother of two.
La Gioconda lacks eyebrows and eyelashes in the portrait, and the reason for the same has been debated for the longest time. Some viewers opinionated that it might represent the high-class fashion of the time. Others were of the view that Da Vinci left the painting incomplete, making it an unfinished work which he left for his assistants. Another popular belief is that the great artist did not leave his artwork incomplete, but the lack of eyebrows is the direct result of the restoration work done to the painting along the many years since its creation.
SHE IS A CAPTURER OF HEARTS
Since the first day of display, many romantics across the world had come to her bearing flowers, poems and heartfelt notes just to get lost in the intimidating and enchanting eyes of Mona Lisa. She receives a lot of handwritten love letters along with fan mails on a massive scale that she was under the protection for a long time. In the year 1852, an artist named Luc Maspero committed suicide by jumping from the fourth floor after writing a note confessing his love for La Gioconda and her breathtaking smile. He is not the only one to take his life for her as another fan has come to see her solely to shoot himself to death.
THE MISSING CASE OF MONA LISA
The painting of La Gioconda went missing from the Paris museum in the year 1911. Many had suspected Pablo Picasso to be the one who could have stolen the art. He was taken to custody soon after only to be released as he was proven innocent. The grief of the people of Paris after August 21, 1911, as compared to the pain experienced after the death of Princess Diana. Later on, the actual thief was found; Vinceco Perugia. He used to work in the Paris Museum, which holds the painting. He firmly believed that the picture belongs to Italy, giving him the motive to steal the masterpiece and hiding it in his apartment.
Art is a form of communication. When words fail to express the true meaning of the object of disclosure, an artist can use his canvas as a means to communicate his intimate thoughts through the medium of art. This vehicle of communication has open doors for revolutions and has always elicited feelings of tranquillity, wonderment and curiosity in its perceivers. This article tries to explore five of the most renowned paintings ever created.
MONA LISA, LEONARDO DA VINCI, 1503 – 19
This famous oil on wood painting, portraying a woman sitting amidst picturesque landscape is indefinitely the most celebrated work of the Italian artist of the Renaissance period, Leonardo Da Vinci. This portrait of La Gioconda is one of the most valuable paintings in the world and is kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The picture can neither be bought nor sold. The beautiful yet mysterious features of the wife of Francesco Del Giocondo have led to the creation of many conspiracy theories.
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, JOHANNES VERMEER, 1665
This well-known painting, hung in the Mauritshuis museum in the Hague, is one of the 36 pictures made by the Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer. He principally portrayed scenes of daily life, later known as “genres” painting, typically of women at the day to day tasks. Contrary to many of the Vermeer’s works, “The Girl With a Pearl Earring” is not in the middle of getting her daily chores done, but instead, she is caught looking at the viewers in a swift moment. Her puzzling expression and inexplicable identity have led many to compare this portrait to that of Mona Lisa.
THE STARRY NIGHT, VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1889
This much-admired painting by the Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh, falls under the genre of abstract paintings. He beautifully captured on to the canvas the ever-expansive night sky which rests over a small hillside village. It was during his 12-month long visit to the at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, that he painted this masterpiece. Months before the creation of this enchanting painting, he had gone through a breakdown, where-in he cut part of his ear with a razor.
THE CREATION OF ADAM, MICHELANGELO, 1512
THE LAST SUPPER, LEONARDO DA VINCI, 1495 – 1498
The Last Supper is the recreation of the supper Christ shared with his apostles before Judes betrays him by ratting Christ out to the authorities. The painting has a lot of underlying symbolic references which are still being contemplated and under scholarly study.