She looks ……like I feel! Ha! Ha! Ha! Even the Mona Lisa has had those days! I get some weird solace in that today!

Actually, after I saw this “rendition” of this famous painting, it created a lot of questions about her in her traditional portrait, that I was sure I didn’t know. I’m a rather curious type, much like cats are known for, of course I wouldn’t take it to the point of getting killed, but hey I would enjoy some details!

It’s fairly well known fact that the picture was stolen and recovered, but the history between those two points really got me wondering. Little did I realize what I was embarking on when I started to research answers to satisfy my wondering mind. There is so much information out there that it was overwhelming. And then there is that job of parceling out the truth from fiction. There is so much to say on this most famous picture in the world that the scope of such an article is too vast for my blog. The least I feel I can do at this juncture is to invite you to take your own journey in researching the story of the theft of La Joconde for your own self pleasure and enlightenment. A mystery and drama that rocked the world of art, and people still talk about it today! Art is full of intrigue and emotion; Always about the lives of people…the artist, the collectors, the countries, the history and the future! (and an occasional thief!)

The history of the Renaissance, the Rebirth, the Enlightenment, was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14 th to the 17 th century, with its beginning in Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. Its influence had effects on literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion and other avenues of intellectual inquiry.

During this period in time, there was an enormous renewal of interest in and study of classical antiquity. It was also an age of new discoveries.

The Renaissance may best be known for its artistic developments and contributions of such polymath’s as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, who inspired the term “Renaissance Man”. Leonardo was a master of the arts, an engineer, an expert in anatomy as well as many other disciplines. He viewed the world with a curiosity about everything.

So, curiosity isn’t just for the cat. We should all be curious about everything! Naturally, an adventure of life this way will take us out of our comfort zones and challenge us to learn new disciplines. For example, some artists have only painted with one medium. By changing to a different paint application, say from watercolors to oils, they make a footprint into new exploration. Later, if they move farther out of their field of comfort, such as trying new subject matter or three dimensional work, they will not be able to return to their original medium as the same person as they were before their excursion. I am a ferocious book reader who had stayed within the same genre for years. I only would read non-fiction. I loved it. It was comfortable. It was a big leap for me to spring into the reading world of fiction. I reluctantly purchased a few books and told myself I could bear it as an experiment. Guess what? I went places in reading that I was unable to conceive. What I had assumed was already mountain experiences in reading, I realized had been events at a lower altitude. I had limited my experiences. The sky is my limit now and I read everything! But like the artist example above, when I got back to my first love in genre, I see it in a new way. Now it is all part of the whole.

The same principle applies with art as well. Being fortunate for exposure to diverse works of art my entire life, I have a tremendous appreciation for many types and styles that now lends itself to quite an eclectic and complimentary approach. I’m grateful to those who explore and experiment, the creative and curious people who seek and express themselves for our own education, edification and enjoyment.

Renaissance Man was a term first recorded in written English in the early 20 th century, but now it is used to refer to talented thinkers and doers living before, during, or after the Renaissance.

Capacity is always determined by stretching the limits. Hence, unless we push, we will not fully realize what our capacities are. How exciting to wake up and determine to make a Masterpiece of our time today. Tomorrow?…….…Is a new piece of work!

Are you a Renaissance Man or a Renaissance Woman?

The Renaissance hasn’t ceased. It continues, today, as new discoveries are constantly made. At Lovetts Gallery, the spirit and hand of beautiful and thought-provoking talent lives on………always in the stage of rebirth. Please come discover what is new in the gallery with us!

Michael C. Hayes - Exodus


Raven Sawyer