On Mona Lisa’s Celebrityhood

If I learned anything from Art History 242 it was that the mystique behind the Mona Lisa was in her smile and her eyes.

I personally think that’s all pretentious bull.

I remember sitting in my Italian Renaissance art history class when the discussion over the mysterious charm of the Mona Lisa was brought up. Being 18 years and not so easily susceptible to pretentiousness and bullshit quite yet – it was still early on in my undergraduate academic career – I brought up the point that maybe our constant poking at the full-bodied painting was the source of her charm. The allure of Mona Lisa is completely created. It is a beautiful painting, without a doubt – the colours, their hue and her striking gaze (which is the subject of perpetual discussion as is her barely-there smile) make for a great work of art.

But our constant questioning of her smile, her gaze, her identity (wait, so is she actually a he? Is she ..da Vinci himself?) has made her into a personality far greater than deserved. The allure and charm of the Mona Lisa – as a painting and as a person – is in the persona which has been assigned to her through our own creation.

I guess what I mean to say is that Mona Lisa was the first Paris Hilton.

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