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Overrated Mona Lisa?

  1. Sep 23, 2010 #1
    I have always liked paintings where an idea, concept is conveyed. The good example of this would be http://www.themasterpiececards.com/...itian's Allegory of Prudence-resized-600.JPG".

    But I have always failed to appreciate any beauty or anything good at all about paintings like Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci or Black Square by Kazimir Malevich.

    What is so good about them? Could you please guide me?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2010 #2
    Platonic Forms...check out the smile.
  4. Sep 23, 2010 #3


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    I'm kind of a big fan of portraits myself. I think the human face is just as interesting and worthy of artistic representation as scenes.
  5. Sep 23, 2010 #4


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    I've been saying it for years. Mona Lisa is kind of ugly, and its not art.
  6. Sep 23, 2010 #5
    Hmm, the Mona Lisa, I've seen it in the Louvre. Hard to miss the crowd in front of it and the security things, in an otherwise rather empty room. Pure objectively, it's a big disappointment. It would be a rather obscure inobstrusive piece, if it wasn't for its history.

    Lots of brilliant large colorful paintings around too hardly getting any attention.
  7. Sep 23, 2010 #6
    I think it is well documented and understood why Mona Lisa is widely considered one of the most important masterpieces in the history of painting. You will not obtain here on PF a better discussion than the material you can find in a few minutes browsing. You may however obtain quite a few short statements in the style "yeah, I don't like it either, LOL".
  8. Sep 23, 2010 #7
    Paintings are valued based on how popular or 'wanted' they are. The Mona Lisa generally speaking wasn't that popular back in the day and it wasn't deemed as one of the more expensive paintings. While it was 'famous' it was just among the other famous paintings, prehaps even less so.

    However many people started writing about it, famous artists began reproducing their own variations of it, mystery generally surrounds it, the detail is pretty awesome... and that smile... adds to the mystery, the painting was stolen. All this adds up to making the painting pretty famous, hence expensive.

    That's all that sets the 100million paiting apart from the $500 painting, the fame of the artist and of the work itself. There are expceptions of course, perhaps a billionaire really wants a painting so he buys it for some extraordinary price.
  9. Sep 23, 2010 #8
    De gustibus non est disputandum. That's latin and means that she stays in the crowded room for the time being.
  10. Sep 23, 2010 #9


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    I've always assumed I don't know enough about the historical context to 'get' the Mona Lisa.

    (Waring - opinion of a total art noob follows...) But I think if you have to spend too much time explain why the art is important, maybe it's not so important. Sort of like having to explain why a joke is funny.

    An example of art that needs no explanation: Michaelangelo's David. You look at David's eyes, he wants soooo bad to kick Goliath's @ss, in his head he's already won the battle. You may not even notice the sling shot on his shoulder. Its inconspicuousness says the battle is fought in the human heart, not with sheer brute force.

    OK, maybe you need to know the David and Goliath story to really 'get' David.
  11. Sep 23, 2010 #10


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    Yeah ok, like you were looking at his eyes :rolleyes:
  12. Sep 23, 2010 #11
    hmmm wouldn't that be something like "is subsisto in populus cella pro vicis res"?
  13. Sep 23, 2010 #12
    It means that peoples tastes can't be objectively disputed.
  14. Sep 23, 2010 #13
    I liked Mona Lisa better and did not find anything good about yours one.

    Mona Lisa is "price of Mona List"/"price of Titian's Allegory of Prudence" better than Titian's Allegory of Prudence.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  15. Sep 23, 2010 #14
    On the topic of art I don't get, here's a good one:

  16. Sep 23, 2010 #15
    That looks awesome, imagine it on your wall. You're saying you it wouldn't look great there?
  17. Sep 23, 2010 #16
    If you listen to the critics, they'll tell you it's not as bad as it looks.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  18. Sep 23, 2010 #17


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    You mean wouldn't a child running wild for a few hours with a box of crayolas look great on my wall?
  19. Sep 23, 2010 #18
    For many kinds of art it is very important to read the artist's story or purpose for the art piece. A painting you find initially unimpressive might be seen as a masterpiece once you figure out what the artist was feeling or had in mind. Great art is rarely just about technical ability or first impressions.
  20. Sep 23, 2010 #19
    Not only that but this looks far from anything that a wild running child could make with a box of crayons on the wall. If you find one Peng, then kidnap him and send him my way... lots of money to be had.
  21. Sep 23, 2010 #20
    Peng, you said it quite right. Who would call this random network of lines and curves a piece of art?! It somehow reminds me of Google Earth, when you start zooming in.
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