How Leonardo created the masterpiece? Was the woman really an existing human being or just his imagination? As it is known, Mona Lisa really existed. One beautiful day Leonardo was wandering aimlessly in the streets and he heard very joyful ringing laughter from one balcony just above him. He looked up and saw a young woman, so pleasant-looking, barely 30 years-old. She had all her hair down. She was Mona Lisa, the wife of a wealthy Florentine businessperson, Francesco del Giocondo. Leonardo started painting her and it took him several months to finish the painting, one of the most expensive masterpieces afterwards. It is known that in order to amuse her he was singing and reading verses himself. The portrait took Leonardo four years to finish.
The result of the hard work was just unimaginable – a masterpiece constantly gaining more and more popularity and appreciation day by day. As even the critics mention Leonardo managed to represent so amazing vividness that we all think we are watching an alive person while looking at the portrait of Mona Lisa.
The main reason of this is her eyes. Leonardo has represented the eyes full of light and water on the picture and this makes it more alive. Subtle pink nose and scarlet lips look real as well. Leonardo da Vinci’s biographer, Giorgio Vasari shows that if you keep your eyes attentively on Mona Lisa’s throat, you just feel the pulse beating.
Giorgio Vasari also speaks metaphorically about the secret of her smile. He mentions that Leonardo invited musicians and joke-men to cheer up her boredom by posing.
Mona Lisa’s strange smile has been the main issue of debates for centuries. Sometimes she smiles very subtly and attractively, but sometimes-as a vamp. This is achieved by ‘sfumato’, which a method is created by Leonardo himself. ‘Sfumato’ is where there are no harsh outlines. More exactly it means lightening of dark tones and colors, blurring them. So together with other works the strange smile of Mona Lisa appeared such way. ‘Sfumato’ is the only reason of her ambiguous smile.