Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa in Louvre, Paris - The portrait with an enigmatic smile!

She has that kind of beauty which may give peace to our eyes, but not to our mind, I thought, while seeing Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the most famous painting in the world in the Louvre museum in Paris. Her pair of eyes is so deep, intelligent and compelling that it spreads a maddening spell on a viewer. When I looked at her eyes, I felt as if I was the only one in her world, she even smiled at me, but when I tried looking at her lips I could not find the smile, I was completely flabbergasted and the confluence of various thoughts and ideas crisscrossed my mind. I stood still (I don't know for how long) and was elated at the realization of this elusive smile! I realized that it is this enigmatic smile that has been luring the mind and the eyes for ages.

The blurred imaginary landscape as the chosen background enhance the portrait more distinctly. I imagine that this beautiful yet mysterious creation represents an ageless truth of the universe. All the mysteries of the earth and our existence can never be unravelled completely. The Mystery will remain!

Mona Lisa, the most visited and most written about painting is just 77cm by 53cm in dimension. Among many suggestions, this painting is thought most likely to be the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a Florentine silk merchant and is believed to have been painted between 1503 to 1506, although Leonardo may have continued working on it till 1517.

The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, by a former employee who believed the painting belonged to Italy. The thief walked out of the gallery with the picture underneath the painter's smock. He was apprehended by police two years later, and the painting was safely returned.

Time has not chilled Mona Lisa or shall I say the painting has liberated time forever!

 The mysterious smile has inspired countless writers, singers and painters and would continue to do so.

Perhaps Mona Lisa is the testimony of conflux of an artist's reality, fantasy, memory and imagination.

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