The Mona Lisa Monna Lisa or La Gioconda in Italian; La Joconde in French is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.  wikipedia.org
La belle ferronniere is a name given to a portrait in The Louvre of a woman, usually attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. It is also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman. The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge in which the aggrieved husband intentionally infects himself with syphilis, which he passes to the king through infecting his wife. wikipedia.org
Isaac Newtons Prism describing colour history with Hal Rogoff
Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination. wikipedia.org
Seymour Hal Rogoff
"Called by critics a 'color theorist,' 'communications expert,' and 'The Wizard of Op'" The Park Forest Star, May 11, 1969 Hal became the first artist to successfully paint with the concept of color as light energy. His hard-edge geometric artwork is aesthetically appealing and demonstrates and corrects many color principles. Hal hoped to provide a road-map from which future artists can master the visual language.

eMail: FineArt@HalRogoff.com
1950 - 2014 all rights reserved Jonathan Rogoff
History of Color
Known attempts to understand the perception of color began in the 15th century when Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), noticed the diverse coloring of different planes of colored objects. He provided us with the first scientific explanation of the effects of colored light. He proposed that various planes of a solid object reflected light received from differently colored sources and in turn modified the color of the light reflected off of them onto other colored surfaces. In theory, Leonardo understood the phenomena of colored light, but it was over four hundred years before its principles were put into effect in painting.
Strictly speaking, colored surfaces do not reflect light energy. They give off harmonics of the energy wavelengths of the colors in the light that they are sensitive to. Photons hitting colored surfaces cause their electrons to oscillate and emit stimulated harmonics of the colors to which they are sensitive.

Although da Vinci had explained the behavior of colored light, most 15th, 16th, and 17th century painters ignored how colors are affected by environment. Instead they used a simple color mixing formula to represent local colors. For example, they ignored the color of the light, the true reflected colors and their subtle variations of warm and cool color. So, to represent shade and shadow colors of white objects, many used color mixtures of various amounts of colors like Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Van Dyke Brown, or Bistre and White. A tiny amount of the color of nearby objects was added to represent reflected color. In real life, we practically never see these brown colors in the shade and shadow colors of white objects.
In the middle of the fourth decade of the 17th century Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), placed a prism in front of a ray of sunlight and broke it into its many different component colors. From this simple experiment he proved that sunlight is made up of many different colors. We now know it is made up of different color energy wavelengths. In 1704 he Published "Opticks", describing his theory that white light is made up of different colors. We have known ever since that color is light energy. However artists did not do much about this for over a century.
da Vinci and Newton ... Turner, Constable and Delacroix ... Impressionists and Post-Impressionists ... Op, Albers and Onward
"At Yale Bernard Chaiet introduced me to the techniques of the old masters. Eventually I was able to reproduce Da Vinci’s painting medium. It is not dark brown like the mediums of Georgoni, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens at all. It is light in color like raw linseed oil."