What Is Your Spirit-Artwork And What Does It Say About You?

1. Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci, 1503–19
Da Vinci’s alluring portrait, painted between 1503 and 1517, has been dogged by two questions since the day it was created: What is the subject’s name, and why is she grinning? Over the years, a variety of hypotheses have been proposed to explain the former: That she’s the Florentine merchant Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo’s wife (hence the work’s alternate title, La Gioconda); that she’s Leonardo’s grandma, Caterina, conjured up from Leonardo’s boyhood memories of her; and, finally, that it’s a self-portrait in drag. For generations, the mysterious nature of that iconic smile has driven people insane. Regardless of the cause, Mona Lisa’s serene expression matches the idealised landscape behind her, which fades into the distance thanks to Leonardo’s use of atmospheric perspective.

2. Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665, by Johannes Vermeer
The 1665 study of a young woman by Johannes Vermeer is startlingly real and startlingly new, almost like a snapshot. This brings up the question of whether Vermeer used a pre-photographic device known as a camera obscura to create the image. Leaving that aside, the sitter’s identity is uncertain, though it has been suggested that she was Vermeer’s maid. He depicts her looking over her shoulder, her eyes locked on the viewer, as though trying to create a personal bond through centuries. Girl isn’t technically a portrait, but it is an example of the Dutch tronie—a headshot that is more of a still life of facial features than an effort to capture a likeness.

3. Botticelli, Sandro, 1484–1486
The Birth of Venus, painted for Lorenzo de Medici, was the first full-length, non-religious nude since antiquity. The Goddess of Love is said to be based on a woman named Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, whose favours were reportedly exchanged by Lorenzo and his younger brother, Giuliano. Venus is seen being blown ashore on a giant clamshell by the wind gods Zephyrus and Aura as the personification of spring awaits on land with a cloak. Savonarola, the Dominican monk who led a fundamentalist crackdown on the Florentines’ secular tastes, was understandably enraged by Venus. The notorious 1497 “Bonfire of the Vanities,” in which “profane” objects—cosmetics, artworks, and books—were burned on a pyre, was part of his campaign. The Birth of Venus was supposed to be burned, but it somehow managed to avoid it. Botticelli, on the other hand, was so shaken by the incident that he stopped painting for a time.

4. Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 painting The Starry Night
The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous painting, was made in the asylum in Saint-Rémy, where he had committed himself in 1889. Indeed, the night sky comes alive with swirls and orbs of frenetically applied brush marks springing from the yin and yang of his personal demons and reverence of nature in The Starry Night, which seems to represent his tumultuous state of mind at the time.

5. Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, 1871, by James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Whistler’s Mother, or Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, as it’s officially known, is a painting that expresses the artist’s desire to pursue art for the sake of art. The work was painted in 1871 in James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s London studio, and it transforms the formality of portraiture into an essay in form. Whistler’s mother Anna is depicted as one of many items arranged in a right-angle pattern. Her solemn expression complements the composition’s rigidity, and it’s ironic that the painting became a symbol of motherhood amid Whistler’s formalist intentions.

“Start the Quiz”

  • Question of

    How many times have you wished you could fly?

    • Every single time. I wish I could fly!
    • The majority of the time
    • I get the urge every now and then.
    • Rarely
    • Never, ever. I enjoy being a human!
  • Question of

    Are you at ease with your body?

    • Incredibly comfortable
    • Somewhat comfortable
    • Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable.
    • Somewhat uncomfortable
    • Incredibly uncomfortable
  • Question of

    Do you consider yourself to be a fighter?

    • Certainly! Prepare for war if you want peace!
    • I’m a dove, by the way. I usually keep my mouth shut.
    • I’m somewhere in the middle.
  • Question of

    Do you enjoy spending time with children?

    • I love children!
    • I adore the majority of children.
    • I love mine and despise everyone else’s.
    • If they’re good kids, I like them.
    • Children are monsters, and I despise them!
    • I’m not really fond of children.
  • Question of

    Are you a lover?

    • Yes – I want peace and love
    • No – 100% fighter here!
    • I’m somewhere in between
  • Question of

    Will you go to a Turkish bath on a Sunday afternoon?

    • Definitely YES!
    • Definitely NO!
    • It is dependent on the crowd.
    • I’m not sure
  • Question of

    Do you have any faith in astrology?

    • I am a firm believer in astrology.
    • I’m not sure
    • Astrology is complete nonsense!
    • What is astrology? What exactly is it?
  • Question of

    Can you describe yourself as meticulous and hardworking?

    • Yes, I am! I’m a real go-getter.
    • It is dependent on my mood.
    • I’m not that meticulous. I’m more of a free-spirited individual.
    • I’m not sure
  • Question of

    Are you a heavy cigarette smoker?

    • Yes, I am.
    • No, I’m not.
    • I’m a smoker, but not one who smokes heavily.

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