When we set this photo shoot up I paid attention to: what clothes she wore, how her hair was, how her hands were (and no, she is not holding a duck in the original like I have seen in some copies!), what her face looked like, where she was looking, etc. I found out one reason why she looks a bit strange, too. She has hardly any eyebrow! Some historians say that during the time it was painted (1503-1505) it was popular or fashionable for ladies to pluck or pull out their eyebrows and eyelashes. It may have been, but scans done of the oil-on-wood painting in 2007 show that her eyebrows may have been darker before but the painting has been cleaned so many times that they have been cleaned right off.
I wanted to copy the painting as much as I could so...I plucked my eyebrows! Just kidding. I 'erased' them on the computer. I didn't notice until after we took the photo that Mona Lisa was wearing a veil over her hair.
Leonardo da Vinci was one of the first artists to paint imaginary backgrounds and also the first to paint ones like this -- it looks as if she's sitting on a balcony very high up -- the background is VERY far into the distance.
People always say that when they see the painting in person (at Le Louvre in Paris) that they are surprised by how small it is. I have heard this so I was actually surprised to learn that it is 76.8 cm tall by 53 cm wide, about 30 inches by 20 inches. It is BIGGER than I thought!
While the person in the picture is said to be Lisa Ghererdini, this is not certain. In Italian the painting is titled "La Gioconda" which means 'the happy one' or 'the jovial one'. In French it is called "La Joconde" which means the same thing. In English, the painting is called the Mona Lisa, which back-translated would mean "The Lady Lisa."
This photo we made is called "Le Gioconde" or "Le Giocondini"
For school Y6 is doing biographies, O picked Leonardo da Vinci; they share a passion for inventions. Because he always tends to cut and paste pictures from the internet without thinking too much about it, mean ole mom made him think of something different and this was a good Sunday morning project. He's got some other great ideas to make this topic come to life, including comparing his sketches of flying machines with the modern-day planes, parachutes and helicopters, etc. I'll bet we find some ideas that are still waiting to be made reality!