Tuesday, August 30, 2011


my best friend from high school came to see me this weekend, bringing with her, her husband and my biggest fan club, her 3 sons. of course i love them all dearly, particularly because they are all little smarty-pants-show-off-daredevils and funny as can be! over dinner, we were discussing my drawings, and how i was in need of some inspiration. adin, the oldest, suggested a few ideas, but this was the money-shot! the Mona Lisa. of course!! brilliant!! (don't tell him that, he'll get a big fat head...)

now the story behind the mona lisa is a bit of historical fact and a lot of speculation, because dear old Leo just couldn't do a painting without hiding something forbidden within the layers of paint. he was not the man to go to if you had a secret, because he would hide it in his paintings or in his writings (mirror-image, so as to trick people into thinking it was a different language. i learned how to do this at an early age for the sake of my christmas list...). whether he did or he didn't plan on people in the future having access to the technological advancements that would enable them to decipher his hidden secrets, we'll never know. but they did. and we now know all manner of things about this woman, supposedly the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

many scholars have tried to uncover the truth behind the smile of the Mona Lisa, and there are countless number of theories out there, which one is the truth we'll never really know. but the one that i tend to favor, is from Dan Brown, the author of "The Da Vinci Code".

the Mona Lisa is without a doubt the world's most famous painting, and the reason for that is simply that it was da Vinci's best accomplishment. the speculation behind the guessing of the reason for the smile, he states, was that da Vinci was trying to make a point about the feminine being the finer sex, which all goes back to the theory of Mary Magdalene being the wife of Christ. in the composition of the painting, da Vinci had made the left side of the landscape in the background lower than the right, which made the left side of her look larger, more important. this is Leo's little inside joke, as the female is usually associated with the left, and the male with the right. so, here he has made the female more important and majestic as he was a huge advocate of the feminine principles. he also believed that the human soul could not be enlightened unless it had both male and female elements.

there is some truth behind the rumor that the Mona Lisa is androgynous, and da Vinci hid one big clue in it's title "MONA LISA". he was trying to get the message across about the power of male/female elements. AMON was the egyptian fertility god. his counterpart was ISIS, the fertility goddess (whose ancient pictogram was once called L'ISA). AMON L'ISA. as brown puts it, "...not only does the face of Mona Lisa look androgynous, but her name is an anagram of the divine union of male and female. and that, my friends, is da Vinci's little secret, and the reason for Mona Lisa's knowing smile."

so, after many hours of drawing (consider that it took Leo years to paint this!), here she is. and i love her.

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