Figure 1 Figure 2
(Mona Lisa c 1503-6 oil on panel (L.H.O.O.Q. Portrait of Mona Lisa
Vinci, Leonarda da (1452-1519) – with beard and moustache – Painting
Bridgeman images, 2019) by Duchamp, Marcel – 1887-1968)
Bridgeman images, 2019
Figure 1 – Denotation – Portrait of a seated, smiling woman, with medium length, brown hair that has a black veil covering it. She is wearing a long sleeve dress, one hand laid loose over the other. Background setting is of a mountainous landscape, with a winding road and bridge. Connotation – Imaginary background, rather than a real one indicates a dream like situation of a woman who is calm and beautiful, serene like, perhaps giving the viewer what an ideal vision of a woman was at that time.
The painting is believed to be a portrait of the wife of Francedsco del Giocondo – Isabella d’Este La Joconde and is often call La Gioconda after her. It is owned by the Government of France and is located on a wall in its own room in the Louvre , Paris, France. It was painted by Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci, apparently it was painted in Florence, Italy around 1503 -1504. The painting was one of the first portraits to depict the sitter in front of an imaginary landscape, and Leonardo was one of the first painters to use aerial perspective. The enigmatic woman is portrayed seated in what appears to be an open loggia with dark pillar bases on either side. Behind her, a vast landscape recedes to icy mountains. Winding paths and a distant bridge give only the slightest indications of human presence. Leonardo has chosen to place the horizon line not at the neck, as he did with Ginevra de’ Benci, but on a level with the eyes, thus linking the figure with the landscape and emphasizing the mysterious nature of the painting. (Wikipedia 2019). The painting is considered priceless. It is thought to have been painted when she was in mourning, hence the black veil, after her child had died.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mona_Lisa accessed January 20, 2019
https://www.leonardodavinci.net/the-mona-lisa.jsp accessed January 20, 2019
https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/mona-lisa-portrait-lisa-gherardini-wife-francesco-del-giocondo accessed January 20, 2019
Denotation -A copy of an original Portrait of a seated, smiling, young woman with medium length, brown hair that has a black veil covering it. She has a black moustache drawn on her face along with a small goate beard. She is wearing a long sleeve dress, one hand laid loose over the other. Background setting is of a mountainous landscape, with a winding road and bridge. There is writing underneath with capital letters spelling out L.H.O.O.Q. Connotation – It seems the original picture has been made fun of and turned into a man by a new artist, giving it a new meaning, possibly a bisexual element, a role reversal.
L.H.O.O.Q. (LHOOQ). Portrait of Mona Lisa (Monna Lisa) with beard and mustache. Detournement of the Mona Lisa painted by Leonard de Vinci. Painting by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) Courtesy Mudima (Milan Collection Schwarz – Courtesy Mudima) – Bridgeman Images
Marcel or Michael Duchamp was famous for being part of the start to the Dada movement around 1915 – ‘by challenging accepted definitions of art usually through collage and abstract and rejecting the logic, reason and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense and irrationality’ Wikipedia (2019)
In typical Duchamp humerous style had made a postcard copy of the Mona Lisa and drew a moustache and goatee beard, making a role reversal of the attractive woman in the portrait to look more like a man, possibly with sexual implications ‘popular with Duchamp who adopted his own female pseudonym, Rrose Selavy. The writing L.H.O.O.Q. was a play on words by Duchamp, sounding like the French words “Elle a chaud au cul” (There is fire down below or she is hot in the arse) Wikipedia (2019) and manhattanarts (2019).
The original image was copied and made into a postcard with the changes made to make fun of the traditional female role of sitting pretty and serene
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.H.O.O.Q. accessed January 20, 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dada accessed January 20, 2019
https://www.nortonsimon.org/art/detail/P.1969.094 accessed January 20, 2019
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