>Question of the Month: February

>You remember the rules, don’t you?

Now here’s the question:
Why do you think Monalisa was smiling?

Here are some cues from an article in the online TIME magazine:

Art historians have deduced in that singularly mysterious visage everything from a cross-dressing self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci to the knowing glance of an unfaithful wife to the satisfied pride of a pregnant woman. Bob Dylan once even offered up a very 20th century American conclusion on the matter: “Mona Lisa must’ve had the highway blues.”

A Sicilian professor of pathological anatomy has come up with the latest and what is arguably the least poetic explanation imaginable for why Mona Lisa looks the way she does: high cholesterol.

Go on, come up with your on ingenious idea behind that smile!

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36 responses »

  1. >LOL..She is smiling at all of us , who have been disecting her smile forver ! She is smiling in pride of being able to manage the world fall over her smile πŸ™‚

  2. >i would say she was remembering a moment which she cherished the most,or else another guess would be she is asking herself when she got painted "Am i really that beautiful?"1st timer and i kinda liked the post….take care and keep writing……….

  3. >@Goofy: It's a tad too restrained, methinks.@Swati: Yeah? You think she knew the world would be dissecting her smile even when she was being painted? That would make her a very smart woman!@Thousif Raza: Welcome here! Somehow, no one talks of Monalisa's beauty (is she beautiful at all?) but only of her smile!@How do we know: That would make it a sad smile then.

  4. >Does anyone else also think that her eyes portray a smile more than her lips do? Looking at the picture, it makes me feel as if it is a 'knowing' smile. The kind when you are suppressing a BIG secret. Wonder what that secret is…:)

  5. >@Soulmate: Like I said, that would make her a very smart woman who gets what she wants!@G: After you say, I think so too.@Dee: LOL! It's too subdued an expression for that, I'd say.@DewdropDream: I'm like an open book – totally unmysterious. Genetically flawed 😦

  6. >Hmm…Just the lips alone look like a subdued smile. But I think its the eyes which add charater to the smile and make it enigmatic. I think its a sad smile. Yet a powerful and knowing smile. Probably shes a woman who outwardly appears to be submitting to another or society. But she is actually very independent in her mind. Therefore looking at her oppressor in a slightly mocking way…with contempt. Shes sad because she has to submit to something or someone she doest believe in, because she has no other choice. yet, she is still master of her own mind and spirit and therefore in a not so obvious manner more powerful than her oppressor.

  7. >you know, as smiles go , I think there are a lot more beautiful smiles… more vivacious, lively onesBut the beauty of Mona Lisa lies in her expression, methinks.. it radiates a kind of serenity, a contentment, a happiness that is innate, not born of any particular moment of cheer…It is the smile of a woman at peace with her lot…?? and therein lies the charm. the fleetingness, and the mysteriousness..

  8. >No no, you're merely the exception that proves the rule! :DKidding. You and unmysterious? 'Fraid not missy. For all your honest outpouring here, you don't necessarily reveal all. Only my opinion though πŸ™‚

  9. >Firstly, I do not find her smile mysterious. Anyone smiling just like that only to pose for a portrait photograph would look like that.I'm of course very inclined to go with Dee's speculation. Or might go a step ahead and 'postulate' that 'cuz Leonardo's clothing didn't have a fly! :POr most simply because being the trend-setter that Leonardo was, he was the first artist to say, "smile, please"! ;)I liked your asking a la Hindi news channel aap ko kya lagta hai, Mona Lisa kyon muskara rahi hai?… πŸ˜‰

  10. >the same reason we smile in photos like that, without showing our teeth. somebody said 'cheese' and she feared something was caught inbetween her teeth :Pjokes apart, i think in Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown says it maybe coz she's a man… dunno!

  11. >DiDo: LOL! No, I love quirky people like you :)@Yuvani: Wah! What an interpretation. I feel like giving you a prizr for your answer :)@JLT: Wow! I'm so impressed with this reading too. You guys are good!@DewdropDream: Here, maybe no. But in real life, I'm quite an open book. I am!@Ketan: LOL at making me sound so India TV-esque ;)And your reasons are so innovative! Yeah, no one thought who first came up with a 'smile please' for pictures and paintings! Could be Da Vinci, for all you know.Btw Ketan, why have you put your pic upside down? @celstialrays: LOL at something's stuck in her teeth :)And I forgot all about Dan Brown. He should write a book about this!

  12. >You should visit my profile and/or blog at least once. You will get the answer. πŸ™‚ It's very simple actually; you just have to click once. πŸ˜‰

  13. >I will go with D on this one…..that is the only explanation….the slight smile is actually laughter held back…but she was a polite lady and didn't want to hurt Leo's feelings. :-)Cheers,Quirky Indian

  14. >@roopscoop: Ewww! LOL!@Ketan: Will do :)@SMM: More LOL! Monalisa and Da Vinci would be turning in their graves right now!@Quirky Indian: You mean Dee, which is different from D! @Mamta: Do women smile when they think of what's for dinner tonight? I thought they would frown!

  15. >exactly my point D… i said she is smiling for the heck of it… while there is actually something else on her mind.Frankly, I think her smile as a subject is very over-rated.

  16. >She looks like she is at peace atleast at that moment, it is possible that the smile is not an exact portrayal, but the artistic license used for creating the kind of perfect, subdued, confident but not too confident, smile that was appreciated in those days.

  17. >She was PMSing and knew Leo was about to get the blunt of it..and was enjoying the knowledge..But seriously, she looks watchful with happy eyes, just like a mom is watchful with her child but happy to see him/her too..

  18. >@DiDo: Isn't it 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi'? Did you spell it wrong or does it mean different when you spell it the way you do and thats the funny bit? If its the first one(where you spelled it wrong) – πŸ˜€ Team DTN, please note. Even I know enough hindi to correct typos here πŸ˜› (Esp divz, you better take a note of this and stop teasing me.Hmph)@D: Sorry, i HAD to do that πŸ˜€ As for Monalisa, I think she had bad teeth and dint want to smile more and show her teeth. Or maybe she did smile more and Da Vinci uncle messed up with it πŸ˜› PS: Are you banning me from your blog now? πŸ˜€

  19. >@Mamta: I think so too. Still can't figure what's the big deal about it!@IHM: Maybe. We'll never know for sure.@comfortablynam: PMSing and that expression just don't go together!!@Revs: Babes, you're totally overreacting – the difference between saying 'Kyuki' and 'Kyunki' is a nasal sound where 'n' comes. Not much of a difference really! So stop gloating over your transliterated knowledge πŸ˜€ This just proves youdon't know Hindi at all πŸ˜‰ LOL!Bad teeth is a plausible explanation!And no, I'm not banning you though I do hope you're still going to come back after that answer I gave πŸ˜‰

  20. >Ofcourse I dont know Hindi at all D πŸ˜€ Just picked up a few words after watching a few Hindi movies(with subtitles). And hey, she said 'Kyuki saaNs….'. Hmph!

  21. >Cannot recall if I am making this up or actually read it somewhere -Monalisa smiles the way she does because she was just back from a dental appointment and was still facially numb under the local anesthesia effect.Now, that does seem almost agreeable to me πŸ˜€

  22. >@Revs: Ok. Point taken, "Hmph" taken!@Smrithi Rao: Thank you! But you have go to hazard a guess. C'mon!@Double Inverted Commas: Rushing to pick that up… Thank you already!@alwayshappykya: Very possible. @theprintlover: Really? Too sedate for that, methinks. @Abha: Yeah, sure! I believe you! πŸ™‚

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