Mona lisa

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by birch, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The smile is interesting, both for the particular technique behind the way it was painted, and for the enigmatic impression it leaves. It has been endlessly analysed, which in itself tends to indicate there's something in it that people consider worth discussing, at least.
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Anyone who flatly states that Shakespeare is 'overrated' ought to be able to defend that statement, first, by outlining the rating system they use and then by giving examples of other works that convey the same message more adroitly, more poetically, more dramatically, in more original and/or compelling language; that have more accurate observations of the human condition and/or better-drawn, more memorable characters, etc. At the very least, I would like an example of which Shakespearean work(s) the speaker finds dull and in what way.

    Anyone who considers the Mona Lisa an inferior painting should say inferior to what paintings of similar subject matter and in what particulars it is lacking.

    Me, I find Shakespeare's tragedies both emotionally and intellectually stimulating; the comedies less so, though the language is certainly engaging.
    And, while I'm more of a Turner fan, what I most admire in the Mona Lisa is the colour and texture of her skin - its exquisite subtlety.
    No two people are expected to like all the same art: that's a matter of personal inclination and aesthetic sensibility.
    But to judge art, one ought to have a grounding in theory - at least.

    All that aside, I also find the evaluation of art in terms of either fame or money both inappropriate and distasteful.
     
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  5. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

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    I like some Turner sky and seascapes, so I'm not all philistine.
    Rating system... If I drink a glass of wine, I don't have to read a book about wine to know if I like it. If I see a painting, I know if I like it. If someone has to tell me what to look for in a painting, then that painting doesn't come across as natural to me. That may tell you something about me.

    With the Mona Lisa, too static (nothing going on) and perspective almost two dimensional, just up and down, no depth. Never met Mona, is the likeness good? But I guess that wouldn't matter to you. i.e. my opinion, you got your opinion. You see more in this Mona Lisa painting than me. It rings your bell not mine.
    Going back to being natural or true to life... Shakespeare characters seem to me, to be speaking a fairy tale language, yes, it may catch thoughts and feelings wonderfully, and that rings your bell not mine. Sorry I can't give you more of a thoughtful answer, but maybe you look for more in art than me. For me, if the bell doesn't ring first time, then no second glance, so to speak.
    If you ask me what I like about some of Turners works... The colours are right even if a flick or twist of paint represents the shape of something real. In other words, suggestive. In that context I have some feeling and that may seem to contradict my ''true to life'' point.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I never asked you to justify your taste in either painting or drama. Preference is individual and subjective.
    That's why I pointed out the difference between preference and critique.
    It's the categorical rating I object to, not the liking or disliking.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The more you know about something, the more you are able to appreciate it. The subtleties, the nuances, the history become apparent.

    So it goes with wines, beer, poetry, art and cigars (and maybe a few other things).

    If, among afficionados, the Mona Lisa - or a fine Cohiba - has fascinating nuances that cause many, many people to rate it above virtually all others, then that's not hype, that's just a lot of considered opinions in agreement.

    So, I have a question for the OP: what is this "hype"?
    Is someone trying to convince you under duress that the Mona Lisa should be part of your living room ensemble?
    There are an uncountable number of things in the world that lots and lots of people like. That doesn't put me under any pressure to like them too. Do you feel pressured?

    (BTW, this is not just you; my wife is susceptible to perceived crowd-conformity too.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It also bothers me - just a little bit: this is hardly a weighty matter! - to include artistic preference in whatever basket constitutes "political correctness" in the writer's mind.
    I find that phrase far too heavy-laden and the concepts to which it is applied, often suspect. It so often seems to be used as an accusation of some form of coercion by some groups against some other group - none of which actions and groups are explicitly identified.... except that I'm invariably in the coercive group, apparently doing something dreadful to some poor hapless conservative.

    So, please forgive me the Pavlovian reaction.
    In this instance, I'm guessing it means nothing more sinister than "popular opinion".
     
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  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I know a guy - adult man of considerable intelligence and good judgment - who deliberately avoids exposure to 1) Opera 2) expensive cigars 3) high end coffee;

    for that reason. He knows his weakness, and he knows what it would do to his household budget.

    Me, I'm safe from the century-bill opera ticket and the daily Cohiba. But I once bought a dusty bottle of discounted white wine off the back shelf of a closing liquor store in Lowertown Saint Paul, MN, for a dinner with inlaws who get migraines from red, and holy christ am I lucky that wasn't a common label in the high-buck section of the booze sellers I frequent. And I don't even like white wine.

    Quality is a damn hazard.
     
  11. birch Valued Senior Member

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    I don't see the smile being enigmatic. What i see is that the person has a chubbier face so her half-smile is rather slightly pixie-ish which is more often seen in babies especially, also because they have chubbier cheeks. Maybe that is what is so puzzling and enigmatic to see on an adult but i don't see what is the big mystery to ponder. No, really. I think it's much ado about nothing.

    Though i will add that it was uncommon for people to be smiling in portraits back in the day and it was not customary to grin to the point to even show teeth. People were very conservative in portraits and rather with more serious poses. The fact she has a half-grin and also eyes could be read as looking slightly flirtatious (but that is still reading/speculating into as she could have been constipated, bored, drunk/high, daydreaming, or myriad reasons) may be more provocative or maybe even evocative to some people's perspective. Her expression could even be from being slightly self-conscious or maybe she was thinking how nice leonardo is doing her portrait etc. Who the hell knows because no one is a mindreader. But that's still really not enigmatic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Do you grant though, that others may not see what you see? Or, more to the point, that you don't see what they see?
    Still not sure why that annoys you.
     
  13. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    What you see in the finished work is actually the third try he made to render the lady in question. The first 2 attempts are buried under the final painting.

    Most paintings in those times were relatively static - think of still photography versus video. Also, folks did not show teeth or smile for portraits due to the prevalence of dental problems.

    Gotta love that tired old "I don't know squat about art but I know what I like" dogma. :golf clap:
     
  14. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

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    I have just noticed, if you take away Mona's hair, your left with someone looking like Stoniphi's avatar. He has a lovely enigmatic grin with chubby cheeks. I think Stoniphi's feather's have been ruffled...
    These arty-farty types are so brittle.
     
  15. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    Oh! Such a clever retort.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    ....and, once again, your trolling is rank amateur. You will need to bump up your game if you want to run with the big dogs, child.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  16. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

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    In the net granddad.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Please try to maintain a reasonably cordial level of discourse. We're not arguing over politics or religion here, after all.

    Fraggle Rocker
    Moderator
     
  18. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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  19. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Whatever became of the hypothesis that the Mona Lisa is actually a self portrait?
     
  20. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    That sort-of got dropped by the wayside a whiles back as renderings of Leonardo didn't really match up with his picture of Lisa. It is speculated that the portrait is actually Lisa Gheradini, other say....

    "Cotte told the BBC that he believes his findings challenge the widely accepted theory that the "Mona Lisa" is a painting of real-life 16th century Italian woman Lisa Gheradini, who was the wife of a Florentine silk merchant."

    Linkie - poo to GMA story on Lisa: http://abcnews.go.com/International/hidden-portrait-found-mona-lisa-painting/story?id=35649734
     

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