Face on - Face off: Salai vs. St. John vs. Mona Lisa vs. Da Vinci


This is an animation I made showing how each of the faces from these different paintings combine and align. Read More: 


From Left to Right:
  1. Portrait of Salai: 1495 -1503
  2. Mona Lisa: 1505-1507 (or up till 1519)
  3. St. John the Baptist: 1514
  4. Leonardo's Self Portrait: 1512-1515
In my 'blook' (blog + book) I try and explain why these faces align. Showing that they do is pretty obvious, but trying to show that there was intent is a little more complicated. 

"It's a coincidence." 
"Artists find a certain position or formula for painting a face."


So although its apparent these painting's faces align it's not apparent why. Most people chalk it up to coincidence but I didn't stop there. I thought that for two faces to align in the way that these do that it would have to be intentional. That Leonardo meant for these faces to be viewed when they were combined together. 





  This is a sketch from da Vinci's journals, it shows three faces/ paintings being placed over each other. Leonardo also wrote about transparencies and superimposition. This can be done without a computer by crossing the faces together with your eyes. The effect is actually enhanced this way since the combined image is not equally transparent as it is on the computer but different parts of each face are seen by each eye at the same time. Meaning that your left and right eye will exchange visual dominance and as they do this it enables more of a special effect. It gets very complicated, but that's what makes it so intriguing - that it came from someone 500 years ago who didn't even have a light bulb let alone a computer. 



"“Therefore make the hair on the head play in the wind around youthful faces, and gracefully adorn them with many cascades of curls.” 

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