The Most Famous Smile

The Smile

There was a huge crowd, but I managed to get a photograph of the most famous smile in the world.  But the lesson I learned that day occurred when I looked back into the crowd.  There was not a smile on any face. It is a serious business looking at the perfect smile.

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.  ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles until death.”

Leonardo da Vinci

24 thoughts on “The Most Famous Smile

    • To be honest, I felt like I was in the presence of destiny. And I was also concentrating on getting a picture that didn’t include the crowds surrounding the painting. Everyone wanted to get a photograph of the most famous smile.

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  1. Saw her for the first time at age 16 and could chat with her with no one around. Saw her again when I was 40 with no crowd….Saw her NOT two years ago. HUGE CROWD. The same at the Vatican Museum. They need to control access more or the experience is spoiled…..

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    • It was a HUGE crowd! Every since the Da Vinci Code, I think they have had an exponential increase in traffic. There was no chatting with her, but she did seem to enjoy the attention. You were so lucky to see her for a one-on-one!

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    • Very interesting….I have often wondered about that. Is it because we have been told it is the most famous painting or is it because we recognize that it is the most famous painting? Marketing vs. Artistry. Hmmmm

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  2. Nice quote to start off with on a Sunday!🙂
    I had the same sort of experience in front of this cryptic smiling lady. Serious business indeed! Have a great day!

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    • I always smile when I think that we are communicating across the globe. You are already on Sunday and I’m still on Saturday. Have a wonderful day, my dear friend. You have given me a great thought for the end of the day…

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  3. I saw her in 1988. There were a lot of people, but I wouldn’t say that it was mobbed. I didn’t take a photo! I just stared for a couple of minutes, with a smile on my face, and moved on.

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    • Ah, a mystical moment, an awareness of what an artist brings to life, centuries in the past, yet still remains ever fresh. No photos could capture that insight. I have goosebumps even thinking about it!

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  4. thanks for the lovely post …. Da Vinci’s quote is so accurate! Hey, just want to let you know that I will not continue my blog for a while, since I will be busy at some music projects that I’ve signed up, well, that’s life and one always has limited time to do everything in life …. I wish you all the happiness along the blogging journey.

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    • I am so very excited for you! Whatever project you undertake, I know that you will be amazing. Life only gives so much time so enjoy these moments. I will look forward to hearing all about it when you return. You will be very much missed!!!!

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  5. Wow! This is the real one!? Fantastic picture! Was it very big? A lot of those famous art paintings can be huge compared to what we often think the size actually is. I shall be using an altered image of this lady’s portrait – not too disrespectful I hope, for a poem about a painting soon! And we all need to keep smiling, that’s why I like these!🙂 😀 😆

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  6. Could it be no one was smiling because none could be certain the Mona Lisa was smiling at them alone?
    I imagine you may have had that same enigmatic smile Clanmother, looking at the crowd.

    Picture Leonardo da Vinci looking back at himself through the eyes he painted; and then imagining the eyes of those who would look at it hence. He was crafty like that…

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    • I think you have the right of it – everyone has the feeling that she is interested solely on them.

      “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”Leonardo da Vinci

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  7. I am in awe of the greatness of the art of the portrait. etc etc.
    But I never could understand the smile part. I don’t mean the source of the smile…..I guess no one really knows that.
    But that it is considered a smile at all. I just don’t see a smile. 😦

    I smile to a different drummer I guess. lol

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    • And I like your “different drummer” attitude. It would seem that Leonardo would approve – he had a great sense of humour!

      “Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.” Leonardo da Vinci

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    • My dear friend, I am so very glad that we have connected. Our lives are made up of moments of possibilities that can only be understood or fulfilled when we walk in community. You have given us many voices in your beautifully profound post. We span the globe and bring the compassion of diverse cultures to shed light in dark places. My heart rejoices with gratitude that I belong to this amazing community. Thank you!!!

      “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” Friedrich Nietzsche

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  8. Hi I came over from Doris’s blog. What an interesting comment about the Mona Lisa. It is serious business to finally meet such a mysterious yet famous woman….

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