Thursday, August 9, 2012

Surprising Finds

A second shocking ” find” was discovering the actual size of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. If you haven’t seen it, I’m wondering how large you imagine it to be.  Care to share a guess?

I thought that because it was such a famous painting, it must be similar to the size of large portraits of European royalty you’d see hanging in a hall.  It must be large and impressive!  When I got the chance to see it on display at the Louvre, it was not behind thick glass in a modern temperature/light regulated vault (like it is now).  In fact, it was on an easel in a roped off area, so we tourists could get pretty close to it and soak in the view.  Yes, the guards did tell us to move it along if we lingered (gawked) too long.  But what an unforgettable opportunity it was.  

No, the painting is not large; its dimensions are 30”X21”.  And the paint is rather dark and shows many, many cracks.  It truly looks like it’s been around a long time.  Experts think it may have been finished in the year 1505.   I guess it is the artistry, the faint and mysterious smile of that lady, the composition, and the atmosphere of the background that has drawn observers and admirers for centuries.  To be sure, the painting’s gold ornate frame is large; it’s quite impressive!


  1. Fascinating this blog.

  2. She has a calm demeanor that pulls the viewer into the painting.

  3. Interesting. I would have thought the painting very large too!