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Fig 5.8 – Archetypal Mona Lisa

Text: Page 165

The Mona Lisa is considered the archetypal masterpiece of the Renaissance. It bore a strong resemblance to depictions of the Virgin Mary, but humanized, providing a new psychological perspective on womanhood and an emerging archetypal feminine consciousness. Unlike many paintings of women before the Renaissance, the Mona Lisa was not an extraordinary beauty. In the painting, she sits upright, looking directly at the observer, both confident and relaxed. She appears alive and radiant, yet often seen as enigmatic, ambiguous, and mysterious. The look on her face does not send a clear message, the very point of the Renaissance, because the question remained as to the role women would play in the psychological rebirth of humanity after centuries of patriarchal Church dominance.

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