Andy Warhol’s Mona Lisa Essay

2883 words - 12 pages

Andy Warhol's Mona Lisaby John GibsonArt Criticism ARTH350WProfessor Terra KnowlesIt has been asked if reproducing art detracts from the value of the original piece. There are many ways to reproduce art. Art instructors have, for many centuries, used copying a masters work as a way for students to hone their skills in the medium the instructor is teaching. There have been criminal forgeries that have been so well done that it was hard to tell the difference between the fraudulent copy and the original. What other reasons are the to make a reproduction of a piece of work? Musicians pay homage to their influences by remaking their favorite songs. Is that bad? Does Van Halen's version of the Martha and the Vandella's of "Dancing in the Streets" diminish the original in anyway? Can one compare Martha and the Vandella's to Da Vinci or Van Halen to Warhol? Has art began to take itself so seriously that it is like our partisan government? So boisterous in it's own opinion that it refuses to see the views from the other side of the isle, or gallery as we are speaking here. This paper will confront head on these questions through the philosophical comparison of the original "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo Da Vinci and Andy Warhol's screen printed reproduction of the same piece.Before the idea of Andy Warhol's Mona Lisa (See Picture 1) is approached, the original Mona Lisa should be discussed. One can not go on a journey without a beginning and this one begins around 1503. The "Mona Lisa" (See Picture 2) was believed to be painted between 1503 and 1506 by Leonardo Di Vinci. The model that is believed to be depicted in the work is Lisa del Giocondo. She was the wife of Florentinesilk dealer Francesco del Giocondo. This example of Di Vinci's work is oil paint on a poplar board. When Di Vinci first painted the Mona Lisa, he approached it in a new, different fashion than ever before. She is painted with such realism and scale that the painting looks almost as if the viewer could view the painting as a sculpture in the round. With the environment behind her and the way she is framed in the painting it looks as if she is sitting in front of an open window with the viewable landscape behind her. Portraiture this was was new for the time and was immediately influential over art in the region in the 16th century. Even today, Di Vinci's Mona Lisa is still put on the pedestal of being the ideal representation of a portrait. It has been said that it is the "the perfect infusion and revelation of a sitter's character by an artist." The painting has had clear varnish painted on it to attempt to help preserve it. to stop a crack from destroying the painting, in the early 19th century someone installed two butterfly shaped walnut braces in the back of the piece of wood. Through the over five hundred year life of the Mona Lisa it has had many different frames. Some were changed just to help keep it from cracking or warping. Jean-Pierre Mohen's book "Mona Lisa: Inside the...

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