Monday, October 7, 2013

From A Book I Read I Came To Know This Painting Masterpiece

The above painting is called "The Lady With an Ermine", it was painted by one of the world's best painters in history, Leonardo da Vinci in 1490.  To me, the title of this painting should be: "The Lady With an Ermine and a Big Ungly Hand".

I had never saw this painting or heard about this painting until I looked up Leonardo da Vinci on the internet.  The reason that I looked him up was because I read this very interesting novel a while back from Nora Roberts in which she wrote extensively about his works and developed around them one of the most fascinating romantic suspense I had ever read.

Reading Leonardo da Vinci's works in Nora Roberts' fiction is quite different from actually seeing it in my own eyes.  At a glance, this can just be a painting of a woman from long time ago that most of my generation today find boring, weird looking.  It's the sort of painting that most of my generation don't care about. But having read Nora Robert's entertaining fiction, the heroine's appreciation for ancient arts has rubbed a little on me and I can't help wondering:

Just who is this woman in the painting? Why is the woman's hand in the painting so big and why does it seem not quite proportional to the body?  Was it because the painter at the time had yet to master the skill of projecting proportion on the canvas?  Was it the painter's mistake? Or did the painter have some kind of perceptive impairment that caused him to paint this disproportionate big hand on a woman? Why does her hand look so coarse and ugly?  Was it because she had to do a lot of heavy duty manual work? Why is the woman looking side way?  Under what circumstances was she painted?  Why is she holding an Ermine?  What is she really thinking about?  Most importantly, what's her love life like?  What did she think when she looked at herself in this painting?

Thankfully, Wall Street Journal seems to have the answers to a lot of my questions, even though not all of them....,

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