Why it took Leonardo Da Vinci Twenty-two years to paint the Mona Lisa.
The Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo Da Vinci Credit: Pixabay

Why it took Leonardo Da Vinci Twenty-two years to paint the Mona Lisa.

Excellent and highly creative people pursue non-obvious solutions while average people stare at problems and do nothing.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, was an Italian polymath (a person of wide knowledge or learning). He lived between 1452-1519. Leonardo is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in human history. His accomplishments in the fields of art, engineering and math are unmatched.

Despite all his other accomplishments, he is probably known best for his paintings. This is due to his painting of arguably the most famous painting of all time, the “Mona Lisa.” The fame of the “Mona Lisa” has endured not just because of the immaculate technique and beauty of the painting, but also because of the mystery that surrounds the subject of the painting and her enigmatic smile.

But don’t be fooled by the beautiful painting. It took Leonardo twenty-two years to paint the Mona Lisa- during that time he spent six years painting the lips. I want to imagine that during that time he felt frustrated and probably wanted to quit.

So why did it take him twenty-two years to paint the Monalisa? He took breaks to learn optics and biology at University on top of his existing knowledge in art. If you look at the Mona Lisa, the excellence of the shadows and lighting is unmatched. He also learnt biology which helped him to portray the enigmatic smile in its entirety.  

Excellence in innovation requires an intersection of many fields, for Leonardo, the Mona Lisa is what it is because of the deliberate intersection of art, biology and optics.  

What intersections do you need to make to create your “Mona Lisa”?

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