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Mona Lisa may not be as pretty as art lovers like to think?

Posted by Dr. Julian De Silva | March 23rd, 2021

Mona Lisa may not be as pretty as many art lovers like to think, according to research pioneered by the ancient Greeks.

Her enigmatic smile may have bewitched critics and fans alike since 1517 but she is only third on the list of the most beautiful women in art.

The woman in Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece was found to be only 86.6 per cent accurate to the Golden Ratio – the Greeks’ interpretation of physical perfection.

The guide marks her down for her wide ‘manly’ face, poor shaping of her eyes, slight double chin, and the small gap between her lips and nose.

Mona Lisa may not be as pretty as art lovers like to think?

The woman in Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece was found to be only 86.6 per cent accurate to the Golden Ratio – the Greeks’ interpretation of physical perfection

What Is the Golden Ratio?

The golden ratio was a mathematical equation devised by the Greeks in an attempt to measure beauty.

While the ratio can be applied to anything and was used by Leonardo Da Vinci for the perfect human male body in his famous work the Vitruvian Man, it is also applied to the human face.

The premise behind this is that the closer the ratios of a face, body or room are to the number 1.62, the more beautiful it becomes.

The Mona Lisa is the world’s most valuable work of art worth £600 million ($775m) and on permanent display at The Louvre in Paris.

The painting was beaten to first place in the beauty stakes by other well-known female portraits such as Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe (89.1 per cent) and The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (89 per cent).

The masterpieces were tested with the latest facial mapping techniques by cosmetic surgeon Dr Julian De Silva, who uses the technology in his work.

Dr De Silva, who runs the Centre For Advanced Facial Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery in Harley Street, London, said: ‘This new research confirms what many people have thought for centuries – the Mona Lisa is a beautiful painting but she falls short of what the Greeks viewed as physical perfection.

‘She misses out on perfection for a number of reasons – her wide ‘manly’ face, poor shaping of her eyes, slight double chin, and the small gap between her lips and nose.

‘The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world by a considerable distance and there is no doubt it changed the whole face of modern art.

‘But while we may all love her enigmatic smile and admire the brilliance of da Vinci’s brushstrokes, other works of art come far closer to matching what the Greeks considered physical perfection’.

Though it can seem complex these can be fairly simple equations to try on yourself.

For example, the simplest measurement is the length of your face divided by the width of your face.

Width of lips divided by length and length of nose divided by width are other calculations you can try.

Twentieth-century artists and architects, including Le Corbusier and Dalí, have used the golden ratio. The golden ratio also appears in some patterns in nature, including the spiral arrangement of leaves and other plant parts.

Mona Lisa may not be as pretty as art lovers like to think?

The golden ratio (pictured) was a mathematical equation devised by the Greeks in an attempt to measure beauty. The premise behind this is that the closer the ratios of a face, body or room are to the number 1.62, the more beautiful it becomes

 

The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli in the 1480s came second on 89 per cent - scoring highly for her chin, face shape and forehead

The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli in the 1480s came second on 89 per cent – scoring highly for her chin, face shape and forehead

 

Pictured is a close-up of The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli with a close-up graphic of Beauty of Phi research. Dr De Silva said she had the lowest scores for her eyebrows and chin

Pictured is a close-up of The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli with a close-up graphic of Beauty of Phi research. Dr De Silva said she had the lowest scores for her eyebrows and chin

 

Fifth place went to the reclining woman in the 1863 work Olympia by Edouard Manet with 85.4 per cent. She scored well for her lips and brow area

Fifth place went to the reclining woman in the 1863 work Olympia by Edouard Manet with 85.4 per cent. She scored well for her lips and brow area

Dr De Silva said she scored well for her lips and brow area but does less well for her forehead and face shape

Dr De Silva said she scored well for her lips and brow area but does less well for her forehead and face shape

Andy Warhol’s screen print of Marilyn Monroe from 1967 had a score of 89.1 per cent – with high marks for her nose shape, lips and eye position.

Dr De Silva said: ‘Marilyn was the greatest Hollywood female star of her day and that is because she was incredibly beautiful.’

The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli in the 1480s came second on 89 per cent – scoring highly for her chin, face shape and forehead.

However, Dr De Silva said she had the lowest scores for her eyebrows and chin.

‘Venus has been beguiling art lovers since she was painted by the Italian master Sandro Botticelli way back in 1480.

‘She scores highly for her chin, face shape and forehead and is let down by her eye position and a poor brow area’, he said.

Mona Lisa may not be as pretty as art lovers like to think?

The golden ratio also appears in some patterns in nature, including the spiral arrangement of leaves and other plant parts

Mona Lisa may not be as pretty as art lovers like to think?

Pictured is a shell with the golden ratio. The golden ratio was a mathematical equation devised by the Greeks in an attempt to measure beauty

The Mona Lisa was beaten to first place in the beauty stakes by other well-known female portraits such as Warhol's Marilyn Monroe (89.1 per cent) (pictured)

The Mona Lisa was beaten to first place in the beauty stakes by other well-known female portraits such as Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe (89.1 per cent) (pictured) 

In fourth place was the 1665 Girl With A Pearl Earring by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer with 86.3 per cent - scoring well for her eyebrows and the shape of her nose and face

In fourth place was the 1665 Girl With A Pearl Earring by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer with 86.3 per cent – scoring well for her eyebrows and the shape of her nose and face. 

‘She is a beautiful girl who scores highly for her eyebrows, nose and face shape but does less well for eye position and her brow area’, said Dr De Silva.

Fifth place went to the reclining woman in the 1863 work Olympia by Edouard Manet with 85.4 per cent. She scored well for her lips and brow area.

‘Manet’s famous nude of a woman being bought flowers by her servant is one of the famous works of art on display in Paris.

‘She scores well for her lips and brow area but does less well for her forehead and face shape.’

According to the research completed by Dr. Julian De Silva the most beautiful female celebrity is Johnny Depp’s former wife Amber Heard who was found to be 91.8 per cent accurate to the Greek Golden Ratio of Beauty.

The most handsome male celebrity was George Clooney with his rating of 91.9 per cent.

According to the research the most beautiful female celebrity is Johnny Depp's former wife Amber Heard who was found to be 91.8 per cent accurate to the Greek Golden Ratio of Beauty

According to the research the most beautiful female celebrity is Johnny Depp’s former wife Amber Heard who was found to be 91.8 per cent accurate to the Greek Golden Ratio of Beauty

The most handsome male celebrity was George Clooney with his rating of 91.9 per cent

The most handsome male celebrity was George Clooney with his rating of 91.9 per cent

Da Vinci’s Most Recognisable Works Include the Mona Lisa (Pictured), the Last Supper and Vitruvian Man

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, is one of the greatest individuals of the last millennium.

The polymath was a driving force behind the Renaissance and dabbled in invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography.

He has been attributed to the development of the parachute, helicopter and tank.

He was born in what is modern-day Italy in 1452 and died at the age of 67 in France.

After being born out of wedlock the visionary worked in Milan, Rome, Bologna and Venice.

His most recognisable works include the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, Vitruvian Man.

Another piece of artwork dubbed the Salvator Mund, sold for a world-record $450.3 million (£343 million) at a Christie’s auction in New York in 2017.

Da Vinci's most recognisable works include the Mona Lisa (pictured), the Last Supper and Vitruvian Man

A modern day image of what we believe the Mona Lisa would have looked like in real life.

About the Author

Finding the most reputable facelift expert is never easy. Therefore, you should always research the best surgeons in your area and ask plenty of questions. Dr. De Silva is a facial cosmetic and plastic surgeon, author, global educator, with a track record of doing procedures for top celebrities. He is based at world-renowned Harley Street in Central London and specializes in three main procedures: Face and Neck lifts, Blepharoplasty, and Rhinoplasty.

Come witness a custom-built surgical centre that is not your average hospital. You are guaranteed to experience natural-looking results and fast healing thanks to regenerative technology, growth factors, regenerative cells, stem cell, oxygen therapy, and state of the art technology.

By specialising in only the face, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting premier results. Dr. De Silva achieves natural-looking results for his patients using the latest regenerative technology, so they can heal quickly and look their absolute best. No matter what your reason for wanting a cosmetic treatment is, Dr. De Silva and his team are here to help. To find out more information about Dr. Julian De Silva and his work, check out our website.

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