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Born April 251452 Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the small town of Anchiano His father Piero a successful notary and his mother Caterina a peasant women Leonardo has contributed much to our culture artistically and scientifically As a boy Leonardo was fascinated with the birds and flowers of nature which are seen in his paintings in adulthood His superb quality of the detailed landscapes shows off Leonardos artistic qualities One of Leonardos most famous works is the portrait of the Mona Lisa Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa between the time period of 1503 through 1506 He used oil colors on a wood background The subject in the painting is a younger Florentine female whom was married in 1495 to the popular Francesco del Giocondo The portrait is also known as the La Giocondo Rejecting the painting Leonardo carried it around with him everywhere he traveled until his death in France where it remains today This painting is remarkable for a variety of things First Leonardo uses two artistic techniques known as Sfumato and Chiaroscuro The Italians call sfumato- the blurred outline and mellowed colors 2 that allow one form to merge with another and always leave something to our imagination WebMuseum 1998 Sfumato is characterized by subtle almost infinitesimal transitions between color areas creating a delicately atmospheric haze or smoky affect it is especially evident in the delicate gauzy robes worn by the sitter and in her enigmatic smileMicrosoft Encarta Encyclopedia 1998 The Mona Lisa looks as if she has a slight smile on her face Her mouth lends the painting with a gentle atmospheric effect Leonardos technique of light and shade used continuously doesnt allow us to quite determine what hour of the day it is This painting has the power to grab and hold our attention The Mona Lisa looks very alive she gives us
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