Meet Sandra Sakuma, our July 2014 Essay Winner!

Is she really smiling?

By Sandra Sakuma

 The Mona Lisa is, for me, the most fascinating painting in the world.  First of all, it’s a Leonardo Da Vinci painting and I think he was a genius! Also, it’s one of the most famous and commented on paintings in history because da Vinci represented a substantial part of the Renaissance, an important cultural movement in the 16th century.  Due to the fact that it had been painted in two different periods and it had n ever been finished, there were a lot of theories about changes in the original painting and hidden messages on the second hand of ink.

The painting, in its essence is a bust of a middle aged woman sitting with her arms crossed and supported by the arm of a chair.  She might be in front of a window because the painting has a mountain view in the background close to a lake.  The lack of trees and green fields in view give the appearance of winter and create a kind of mysterious background for the painting.

This mysterious background makes me think back on the face in the painting; that’s the most interesting part of it. Mona Lisa’s face has an enigmatic expression where you don’t really know if she is smiling or serious.  Is she starting to smile or starting to say something to someone?  Is she looking at you or to somebody to the right of you? Those are some questions that make me stay for hours imagining what da Vinci was thinking when he created La Giaconda.


Sandra is in a full immersion English course at EC New York.