Name: Bridgette Singleton
Comments: This breathtaking painting is remarkable with its dark and light shades of spft colours. Leonardo has done a good job!
Bridgette Singleton, 12
Comments: Considering Leonardo's age this work is in some senses "remarkable" (Bridgette). Initially when I saw this work and had not seen the title I thought it was a woman. The sfumato technique is a bit too intense and leaves St John sensual and feminine. In addition to that the strong chiaroscuro creates an almost eerie painting.
Comments: I feel what we think about we put into the painting. Rather than feminine or sensual,there is an angelic quality and wholeness to the subject that radiates from within it. That was Leonardo's true magic with a brush!
Name: Richard Warwick
Comments: Why do you linger on whether this is a feminine portrayal or not, and how much was this the intention of the artist? I wonder at the face, the finger pointing skyward and the other in the manner of self identification. This is a painting in a Bacchean spirit - Christ be damned, and incidentally the last painting of Da Vinci.
Comments: can i ask what is up with his smile? its the scariest part of the painting. no, i dont think da vinci was a heretic, but the smile doesn't look too holy to me...
Comments: The swinging arm and beautiful face represents a bird in flight . The hand points to show that Christ will follow.Leonardo created the delicate efect by smudging the paint whith his fingers.I TO thougt this was a painting of a woman at first. Something is hiden beneath the darkness.
Name: George X
Comments: I am amazed at the ignorance of the puritans! If you are interested in art, why don't you do some studying? I was 12 when I read that this is a portrait of the painter's adopted son (and lover) who most probably was also used as a model for the Mona Lisa (there is a striking resemblance in the smile.) Sensual? Yes. But what a magnificent painting!
Comments: Why IS he pointing to the sky, and why is he smiling? I don't get this painting at all, but it is extraordinary, like all his other works.
Comments: This painting creates a confusion of st johns sexual identity and the fact that it is about self identificantion is quite ironic since people see the suject as a female. The fact is we dont know what Da Vinic's intentions were about the way he portrayed st John maybe he wanted to sexualise him in this objective way.
Name: No Man
Comments: Sfumato: "A misty or indistinct effect in a painting caused by blending the tints so that the outlines cannot be perceived" is what my dictionary says.
The person in the painting resembles the Mona Lisa. There are some scholars who think the Mona Lisa is actually a feminized self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. So, this may be a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, styled after the ideas of male beauty of the time. I'm no expert, that's just a thought.
May I add, that, I doubt after living on locusts and honey in the desert the real John the Baptist would look that good. But, of course, Leonardo da Vinci can choose to portray a prophet however he wants. I doubt anyone would have rebuked him for it.
I truly believe that this painting is showing us that St. John the Baptist is not only a man but also is kind, sweet, and tender the way a man is suppose to be.
Comments: He does look a little a girl I guess but, hey, doesn't matter. So long as the painting shows quality, beauty and depth then it'll pass. Anyway, maybe St.John looked like a girl in real life?
Comments: Have a look at the face of "St John the Baptist" and then have a look at the face of "Mona Lisa". There are some interesting similarities! The smile, the eyes, the facestructures and even the hands. Interesting! Why are these two faces so similar?
Comments: Leonardo has given the world the meaning of art; he was the first one to discover how to paint light and how to fade it into darkness. None of us in thousand lives could give what he has given to the world- the meaning of art! This art work is just super.
Comments: one of Leonardo's best work. the youth, the smileon his face is so different from the image we use to have about the Baptisery! Such a shame it is not presented in the scheme you get from the Louvre, so you can easy miss it, especially that everybody is flying to Mona Lisa!
Comments: This is a woman. And not a angelic form of man. "John" has repeatedly been mistaked for a man. But is really named Mary. Just look closely at all the painting of John by Leonardo. Don't they all look strangly feminine? That smile is also telling you I know something you don't.
Comments: This painting scares me. I agree that the subject's smile doesn't look "holy." Neither does the look in his eyes. Even the colors contribute to the eerie quality of the painting. I wouldn't want a copy of it looking down at me from my bedroom wall...
Name: Stephanie Carter
Comments: I think the smile on John the Baptist's face has symbolic meaning. I have read that da Vinci was not religious and that he was homosexual. I think the nudity, the facial expression, and the feminity expressed in this painting are symbols da Vinci used to sort of mock the church. It is believed that many of his paintings were commissioned and created out of necessity; not inspiration. Because of his sublime talent, the church commissioned the art, but that on many occassions, the "powers that be" were not at all happy with the product. I think the painting has a mocking air about it. Da Vinci was a brilliant artist with immense and unworldly talent.
Comments: I don't believe that Da Vinci was a heretic. He just didn't believe what the church believed. He had to make those paintings for them so he was kind of a subtle prankster about it. He hid his beliefs in his works and still had the church thinking it was exactly what they wanted. He was a brilliant man and I think Wired is exactly correct. The painting is androgynous which is not male or female but a fusing of both, or maybe he is trying to show his love for the sacred feminine. Or he is even trying to say that John was not supposed to be the one in charge, but a woman... Mary. I find it intersting that Lisa chose the word Sinister for this painting... I don't think it is sinister at all. The word sinister came from sinistra which means "left" in itlian and french and left was associated with women. The word acquired many heavy negative overtones when the witch hunts began and millions of woman who dared to be outspoken or too close to nature were burned. I also think that she/he does know something we don't know.