The similarity of these two paintings is found in their depiction of a woman or lady. Since the subjects of the paintings are both women, it is easier to compare and contrast the styles of both artists and their periods. One can also compare and contrast materials or the medium used the color tone, brushstrokes, and the manipulation of light. The two artists and their paintings are symbolic representatives of their art periods and styles.
Mona Lisa is an oil painting done in the renaissance period around the 1500s. The woman, Lisa del Giacondo is seated with what seems like a suggestion of a smile on her lips. The smile has been described as enigmatic or elusive. It is one of the best-known paintings due to inability of viewers to decipher the meaning of the woman’s expression in the painting. The woman in the Green Hat is a depiction of Madame Cezanne seated and wearing a green hat. The lady is directly facing the painter with her hands on her lap, similar to Mona Lisa who is also seated with her hands folded at the elbow. There is contrast in the background of the two paintings. Both painting have luminous backgrounds, which suggest light or airy brushstrokes.
However, the contrast is that, Mona Lisa has a semblance of a smile playing on her face while there is no hint of a smile on the Woman in the Green Hat’s lips. In fact, the expression on her face might be interpreted as severe. The model in the Da Vinci’s painting, although facing the painter, has turned her head at an angle. She is facing to the side of the painter unlike the Woman in the Green hat who is facing the painter directly. The lady in the Da Vinci’s painting is simply adorned hence limiting distractions from the model’s face unlike the other painting where the lady is wearing a hat.
Leonardo Da Vince was an Italian painter in the Renaissance period that apart from paintings was also renowned as a sculptor, inventor, and mathematician and dappled in various scientific fields. He is regarded as an embodiment of the Renaissance man, having varied interests in diverse fields He was born in Florence and was apprenticed there in the studio of a famous artist. He worked under the patronage of influential people at the time, at one time working for the pope. His works were dedicated to his patrons or benefactors who provided for him financially and materially. He was an influential figure in the renaissance period and his works are iconic. He liked to experiment with different techniques and this maybe the reason few of his works survived coupled with his well-documented weakness of postponing work on his projects. He had innovative mind as can be seen by some of the concepts he proposed which were ideas ahead of his time such as the concept of the helicopter.
Paul Cezanne was born in south France in 1839 in a well do to do family. Although he studied law at the university, he went against the wishes of his father and became a painter. He influenced the impressionist artists by his a style of light painting based on direct observation and trying to capture every detail. Though his early works had dark colors, he later changed to light colors. He used tonal contrasts and applied a thick layer of paint. He later abandoned this style to concentrate on form and improvising with color to produce dimensions through tone variations. Paul Cezanne is known as the father of modern art as his influence is pervasive among modern painters. He acted as the transition between the impressionist period and the modern art. He was a master of drafting, composing and designing using colors. He had a repetitive and small brushstroke that is a signature of his works. He studied his subject keenly and this is evident in his works.
There is similarity in the circumstances surrounding the birth of both artists. Leonardo was born out of wedlock while Paul Cezanne’s mother was pregnant with him before she got married to the father. Their fathers were both wealthy. Leonardo continued life as an illegitimate son while Cezanne lived as the legitimate son of his father. The aura of illegitimacy troubled Cezanne for a long time. Both artist were influential in their time and created new techniques and styles of painting that were copied. These later influenced other artists who followed them. Both loved experimenting with new techniques and styles. Both were known for their intense study of the subjects to be painted and perfectly trying to capture the image as pictorially as possible. Their lives are also similar in terms of the humiliations and the triumphs the achieved which seemed to alternate throughout their lives.
Their education background is different as Leonardo learnt informally. He was also apprenticed in studios. Though the artist Emille Zola also influenced Cezanne, his education was formalized and he went on to study law at the university. Leonardo was from early in his life destined to be an artist and his interest in other fields were incidental, Cezanne’s formal education was geared towards a career in law but he defied his father to become an artist.. While Leonardo painted as a favor to his benefactors who invariably owned his pieces of art, Cezanne was a freelance artist who mostly painted for arts sake. In Leonardo’s time, an artist was considered successful if he had wealthy benefactors who acted as his patrons and financed his works which were geared towards religious themes. During the period of Cezanne, a successful artist’s work was acclaimed and bought by the public and were mostly secular in nature.
It can be concluded that though here is similarities between the artists and their paintings, contrast exist to signify differences in their periods and styles. The extravagance of the Renaissance period contrasts with the simplicity of the Impressionist to Post-Impressionist period.