Seminar 9-10-12

During Monday’s seminar we looked at The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci and Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.  I had seen The Mona Lisa before and my feelings towards it were the same as I had remembered.  Looking at this piece, I never really thought it deserved the fame and attention that it received.  The woman in the drawing seemed awkward, simple, and unattractive.  It was because of this that I disliked the painting altogether.  It wasn’t until our discussion in class that I realized there was much more to it. For one, her look was not as simple as I was so quick to conclude.  Her facial expression may not have been too exaggerated, but it was not simple or emotionless like I had thought.  From this class I learned that in order to really appreciate and understand art you need to look deeper. I then took a closer look at the person Da Vinci felt was important for us to see, and realized that she had an indescribable look in her eyes and a smirk that had originally gone unnoticed.  I was then led to believe that there was a lot of mystery to this woman and possibly some held in negative emotions.  This picture then became more complex and intriguing.  I was also amazed at the fact that out of all the times I had looked at this painting, I had never noticed the detailed and scenic background.  This only confirmed that I never really gave artwork the attention it needed for it to be truly appreciated.

When we looked at Nighthawks in class, it actually was the first time I had ever seen the painting.  Just from first glance I didn’t really take any interest in the piece.  Everything was so distant and as the viewer, I wasn’t exactly drawn in. It wasn’t until after the discussion we had in class that I started to become interested.  The possibility that this painting told a story and represented a time period was something that never crossed my mind.  This scene is from the 1940s and so by looking at it I was able to form conclusions about the time period and get a feel of what it was like living in it.  One would be that war was going on and those who stayed behind during the war still had responsibilities.  The fact that  Hopper felt the need to portray this brings up the possibility that they were maybe overlooked and not given the credit they deserved.