Wednesday, September 18, 2019

La Joconde

It is the Mona Lisa, or La Joconde, as it is called in French, that is Leonardo's most famous work. The painting was examined in detail in this exhibit. 

The French engineer Pascal Cotte was given access to the painting, and his analysis of it indicates there's much hidden beneath the surface.

A replica of the painting was hanging, aside from the wall reproductions. That replica included the back of the painting (which I should have photographed), which is never seen except for curators. It includes some surprising details- writing and insignias. The replica, exactly on scale with the original, is smaller than you expect the painting to be. 

The exhibit went into extensive detail about Cotte's analysis of the painting, and the portraits hidden beneath, including a draft that appeared to start it all. Cotte's conclusions aren't universally accepted, but certainly are intriguing. More from this tomorrow.


  1. I saw this painting at the Louvre. Impressive.

  2. "Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa
    Or is this your way to hide a broken heart"...:))

  3. I really don't know why this painting is so famous ! I have seen it in the Louvre, it is so small that you have to look twice to find it and it doesn't looks special at all ! Very disappointing. Looks far better on photos !!

  4. Continuo a acompanhar com interesse esta exposição e aproveito para desejar a continuação de uma boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

  5. I wonder how this painting became so famous. I like it, but it has so much allure surrounding it.


  6. ...a painting that everyone knows!

  7. I wonder why this painting is so famous too...

  8. I was surprised the painting was small.

  9. A good looking painting, which is easy to recognize around the world (I wonder if Asians do too). I've seen the display with all the critiques, but lost interest about halfway through.

  10. I saw it in Paris and also was surprised at its small size. I look forward to hearing more about this painting.

  11. He was such a fascinating man William, have enjoyed this and last posts very much. Can't wait to hear more about the mystery of the Mona Lisa ✨

  12. This is a continuing debate which has gone on for a ling time.

  13. @Catarina: less crowded here!

    @Ella: you do wonder.

    @Gattina: part of it is that Leonardo favoured the painting. Part of it is the mystique of the painting being stolen a century ago.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Anvilcloud: it was fascinating to see.

    @Janis: there are a lot of stories.

    @Tom: quite true!

    @Italiafinlandia: it has its secrets.

    @Marie: I had heard it was a small painting before.

    @Barbara: I know at some point the painting exhibited in Japan.

    @DJan: I'd like to see it in Paris.

    @Grace: thank you!

    @RedPat: indeed.

    @Marleen: I thought so!

    @Red: that's quite true.

  14. Oh my goodness, that analysis is fascinating.

  15. Beautiful painting.
    Good to read comments here I'm not the only one that doesn't get why the painting is thought to be so magnificent. I've seen other smiles on women and men in paintings that are as much, and more intriguing. Still, the mystery of the Mona Lisa is very interesting.

  16. The Mona Lisa has been analyzed to death. The underneath part you show is eerie. Tweeted.

  17. Intriguing post ~ and photos too of the Mona Lisa ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  18. Such an enigmatic painting. I remember when I saw it in the Louvre I was surprised how small it was:)

  19. Probably one of the most recognized pictures.
    I didn't realize it was small as a lot of comments mention!

  20. A fascinating post, thanks William!

  21. @Sharon: I thought so too!

    @Maywyn: thanks!

    @Mari: more to come.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Rosie: I imagine most of the time in the Louvre it's hard to get a look at her for all the crowds.

    @Happyone: it certainly isn't the grand size that you expect.

    @Denise: you're welcome!

    @Jenn: I thought so!

  22. Interesting about the portraits hidden beneath the painting. I never heard that before.

  23. This is totally fascinating. The thought of all painted under. What a genius.

  24. I've visited up close with Mona. The painting is surprisingly petite.

  25. William - do you think Da Vinci ever imagined that this one small painting would come to be so famous around the world?

  26. I was surprised when I visited Europe to find some famous paintings were much larger than I expected and others much smaller. I am glad I did that trip 30+ years ago ... I believe there are huge crowds with phones in the air these days.

  27. Congrats on your anniversary ... blogviersary i think they call it. great times!! enjoy it!! noticed that on the last post, commenting it here. hope u see it. have a great one and keep on blogging. so fun. thanks for all the comments and silliness ... all those fun moments!! ( ;

  28. @Bill: it's fascinating.

    @Jeanie: he definitely was.

    @Kay: that's what I thought.

    @Angie: he would be amazed.

    @Joan: that's the thing with art.

    @Beth: thanks!

  29. What a fascinating post William, I enjoyed it, thank you.

    All the best Jan