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AMAZING ARTICLES #32: GIOCONDA'S SMILE

 

COROLLARY THEOREMS: "there is no better tomorrow if we do not learn today."

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Unfortunately, it appears the USA presidential smile is not that impressive to our readers. Problem is, that particular presidential smile has deep social-psychology implications; very deep! Now, to be totally honest, the smile itself is not that important, compared to the image it has generated inside the average USA voters' minds: trust, security, welfare . . . Well!

Anyway, we can look at, and we could analyze together, another smile; possibly, million or billion times more famous: the delicate smile of Mona Lisa! The first thing to note about her smile is, although we do not see any teeth--no fake "cheese", dear friends, during those Renaissance days--her smile is considered one of the most beautiful of our Civilization, if not THE most beautiful one. The truth is, that smile says so much that we do not dare writing down everything we know about it; however . . .
 

 


GREEN LEAF LI was very young when I heard about Mona Lisa, and I was deeply intrigued because her smile is, without doubt, mysterious and enigmatic. It took me two or possibly three years to understand that smile--that was a long time ago.

Since then, I became a better and better psychologist in analyzing human behavior/feelings [possibly thousand times better], but the conclusions I reached when I was so young are still perfectly valid to me, today.
 

 

Understanding Mona Lisa's smile is an excellent psychological exercise for everybody, and we feel really sorry for ruining all the fun with our explanations. What we are going to do is, we will tell you only the first half of the story; the second part, the most difficult one, we save it for you to discover.

Now, there are two things that tell us most about someone's true character: one is the way that person moves his/her body while walking, and the second one is the eyes. Facial mimic is not that much important, because it may be altered intentionally. Both the walk and the eyes, however, are [almost] impossible to control, in order to dissimulate or to mask feelings.

The way a person moves or not his/her body while walking tells us an enormous amount of information about the true character that person has. The most obvious example is "Number One", the well known Captain Raiker form Star Trek--we can only hope we wrote these names OK. The way Captain Raiker walks in those movies simply shouts: "I am AN ACTOR! My life is nice, and I enjoy acting (or playing) as a Captain of the future." He does a very bad job in acting as any Captain. In fact, the only suitable role for him is the "Actor" one.
 

RED LEAFWalking is a complex human movement, and we are not referring only to the movement of the legs. The way a person moves, or not, his/her hands and other parts of the body while walking tells us very, very much about the true character that person has. We are certain you do realize there is too much to talk about, therefore please excuse us: we have to leave this for better times.

The second important "thing" that tells us a lot about someone's character are the eyes. Wow! The eyes of a person tell us the most information possible. However, "reading the eyes" is very difficult, and this is the reason we said it is the second important thing: it is a lot easier to "read" people's movements than the eyes. Nevertheless, you can found the most abundant, accurate, and important information in the eyes.

In order to learn reading the eyes of a person you need to practice a lot; we describe here briefly the method needed. Now, practicing at a very young age is the best thing possible because you are surrounded by young people having unformed characters, and they express their feelings easier--that helps a lot. If you are older, you need an exceptional logic, an infallible memory, and a lot of experimentation. The way to practice reading the eyes is to discuss with people. Second thing you need to do while discussing is, try provoking strong emotions/feelings inside your interlocutor: as many and as different as possible, and very strong. While doing it, you should observe their eyes very, very careful.
 

GREEN LEAF RAnother important aspect while practicing reading the eyes is to analyze as many different individuals as possible. We estimate it takes about a thousand analyses/discussions before becoming able to sense the feelings of your subjects beforehand. Note, however, that your discussions need to be adjusted to each particular experience, and that is far from being easy.

Yeah . . . Reading the eyes is very important, but it is only a small component into a lot more complex system named, Psychology. Anyway, these things may sound like a little bit of too much theory; therefore, let's return to our beautiful Mona Lisa.

People refer to Mona Lisa as Gioconda, which means in small talk Italian, "the wife of Francisco del Giocondo". It is suspected her maiden name was Lisa Gherardini [1479-1542]; however, the name Gioconda generates a particularly nice phonetic resonances to any of us. Three things are striking when we look at her portrait:

1. her eyes
2. her look
3. her smile

It is clear you can see Gioconda's smile in her eyes, which means a relaxed attitude. Please do not forget that maestro Leonardo da Vinci has worked for a few years on that portrait, and it is hard to imagine that Gioconda's feelings expressed by her mouth, face, and eyes are coordinated on one particular, instant feeling. Anyway, her eyes do show relaxation, and also a particular interest. In addition, no matter how good Mr. da Vinci was, a portrait is not the same thing as reality, or as a very good photo [the picture we present here is far from being a good one] when analyzing the eyes of the subject.
 
Lisa Gheradini


It appears Gioconda has just turned her head to look at Maestro da Vinci. We have a strong feeling that most the of the time she was looking at something else, and she had just turned her head, for a moment, to look at Mr. da Vinci--possibly, because he had asked her to do it. Her attitude also leaves the impression she was doing something else, while sitting and posing.

Finally, her smile! That smile is a particular one. "Sure," you will say, "we all know THAT!" When we say Gioconda's smile is particular, we are referring to her smile as being particular to all Ladies: that is a smile ALL LADIES HAVE WHEN THEY CHAT TOGETHER!

Please try this for yourself. You need to discover a few, very nice, true Ladies, and then watch them while they discuss about Ladies' things. All true Ladies have that particular, instinctual smile: slightly mysterious, a bit unbelieving, and also pleased. Mind this please: we refer to Gioconda's smile as being instinctual, which makes it as belonging to the entire gender!

Her face leaves the impression she can hardly wait to turn her head and continue chatting with her friends. We are certain that all readers who were lucky enough to live during their adolescence among nice Ladies would agree with our words; for those who weren't, we suggest experimenting, but do keep in mind that you need to find TRUE LADIES, not just any ladies.

Gioconda's smile tells us even more. Her friends are persons equal in social rank to her, and that is why she feels a bit superior to them--possibly, because she has a better opinion about herself, which is a normal, natural human behavior. Of course, there is a lot more to "see" in Gioconda's smile, in her eyes, and in her facial expression, but we intend to leave that as a psychological exercise for you. Try to discover her personal life from many points of view.

Unfortunately, you cannot draw any valid conclusion from the position of her hands and fingers, because we are certain that Maestro da Vinci has set them the way they are. [The position of Giconda's fingers is a particular message left for us to discover by Maestro da Vinci.] This is the difference between a portrait and reality: things are a bit artificial in any portrait but . . . still!

***

First published on December 22, 2005 
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