Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museumn

I know several people who have gone to see the Mona Lisa at the Lourve. Most of them comment on how small the painting is in real life.

They were expecting its size to match up to its level of fame.

They say it is not much bigger than an open newspaper, protected by bulletproof glass.

The Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the early 1500s is, after all, the most famous painting in the world.

The painting has been described as:

“The best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.”

Most has been written about Leonardo da Vinci and we have seen his incredible paintings.

But who is this lady, Mona Lisa?

What do we know about her?

The woman depicted in the picture is believed to be a woman named Lisa del Giocondo [Born Lisa Gherardini] and she is not classically beautiful [as defined].

Hers is a subtler kind of beauty, that beauty that does not announce itself, it creeps up on you.

Lisa’s name was given to the Mona Lisa, the portrait was commissioned by her husband Francesco del Giocondo and painted by Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance.

Little is known about Lisa’s life.

Born in Florence and married in her teens to a cloth and silk merchant who later became a local official, she was a mother to five children and led what is thought to have been a comfortable and ordinary middle-class life.

One of the things I find most interesting about the Mona Lisa is that even though it was painted in the early 1500s, it did not become truly famous until the twentieth century.

It slipped in quietly and grew on us over time.

I know several friends back at my high school who were like that. They said very little. They sat alone along the edges of the classroom, nose in book.

At first glance such people are described a normal, plain or “homely.”

They don’t court attention, they are not the show-stoppers, they are easily overlooked.

They are not the popular, well-known and celebrated folk, except for their academic achievements and awards.

When you first meet them, you don’t really notice them. But they kinda grow on you, and then you realise their beauty, warmth, smarts later.

You will be like: “hold-on this person is actually smart.” [smart referring to not only intelligence, but also easy on the eye too]

Such people possess subtle beauty.

They are the quiet confident.

Over time their real, true colors, traits, beauty, and character, subtly comes out.

Like a moon that shines alone at night when everyone is not looking, subtle beauty shines away from the hustle and bustle of activity.

Let your true brand beauty shine subtly.

In business, the same principle applies.

Sometimes the best way to get to your customers, is not to shout to them to notice you but to subtly grow on them.

Great brands of the future will be built by those who have worked hard to gain the insight that enables them to whisper: “We see you, we are for you” to their customers:

Shouting “notice us, we are the best, buy from us” just does not cut it anymore.

Sawubona, we see you.

Post Script:

On 21 August 1911, the painting was stolen from the Louvre. The theft was first noticed the next day, by painter Louis Béroud. After some confusion as to whether the painting was being photographed somewhere, the Louvre was closed for a week for investigation.

Mona_Lisa_stolen-1911

Louvre employee had stolen the Mona Lisa by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet, and walking out with the painting hidden under his coat after the museum had closed. The employee was caught when he attempted to sell it to directors of another art gallery in Florence.

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