The virtues of a painting, according to Leonardo



The Mona Lisa was, when finally completed, a supreme demonstration of what, in Leonardo’s view, painting could do: create misty distances, delicate colours, soft naturalism, convey the mysteries of human emotion through facial expression and, in the vast landscape behind Lisa, provide a mirror of the cosmos: ‘sea and land, plants and animals, grasses and flowers, all enveloped in light and shade’.

Gayford, Martin. Michelangelo: His Epic Life (p. 187). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

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