I have spent an inordinate amount of time with Mona Lisa and have learned some things that perhaps only I know. For example, if I place the Louvre Mona Lisa beside the Prado one and use a proper three-dimension viewing technique, a three-dimensional Lisa appears between the two paintings. She becomes a full dimensional real person standing at arm’s length. I feel as if I can physically touch her.
But she doesn’t just stand there as a static person. She comes to life with discernible motions and emotions. When standing at a conversational distance from my properly illuminated Mona Lisa I soon notice that she isn’t looking directly at me. In bright soft light, she is friendly, but in darker, starker single-point light she is harsh. She is looking slightly to the right of directly into my eyes. Her face is pointed slightly to my left. My mind feels like her primary interest is where her face is pointed and her momentary interest is where her eyes are pointed. Her interest has shifted while I am looking at her.
That realization is a preparation, an invitation, for me to look deeper into her eyes. My natural physical action is to lean forward just a bit, and slightly toward my left, to escape her direct view, and then back to my normal upright position.
That is when the magic happens! That is when the shivers crawl all over my skin. Mona’s eyes actually move and track me. If I watch carefully, I can see her’s move in little jumps. It’s not a static stare like in other pictures where the portrayed person is looking straight ahead. Her eyes actually move! I carefully observed this effect many times and discovered that it’s my eyes and mind that are making the little jumps, but it feels like Lisa is carefully following my movements. As I move to my left, her chin moves in that direction too, but not her upper face.
But there’s more. As I move a little forward and backward while looking at her eyes, her arms feel like they move and come closer to me. Because she is fully three-dimensional, this effect seemed normal at first and I didn’t notice it … until I did! And then, when I remembered that she is a five-hundred-year-old pair of paintings, I felt like I stepped through a time warp. Mona Lisa moves! She’s alive! Her eyes move, her face moves, her arms move, her emotions move, she is analyzing my thoughts and soul! The Paris Mona Lisa is a worldly-wise and sophisticated woman, but the Madrid one is naïve. When in the simulated three-dimensional world she oscillates in my mind between these alternate personas and her analysis of me.
I wonder if these three-dimensional Mona Lisas would be of interest to the artistic community?