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Editorial: ‘Da Vinci – The Genius’ something to smile about

“Mona Lisa.”

She has mesmerized millions of people over the centuries and is considered by many to be the most famous painting in the history of the world – surpassing even “The Last Supper” and “The Creation of Adam.”

And New Mexicans have a wonderful opportunity to study the mysteries and mastery behind this heralded work by Leonardo da Vinci in a stunning exhibit on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The exhibit, which runs through July 28, includes large, high-resolution photographs of every aspect of the “Mona Lisa,” including her famous smile.

And it explains how the master produced this piece, continually painting over it in his unrelenting effort to achieve perfection. “He just couldn’t leave it alone,” museum Director Margie Marino said. “He was always trying to perfect her.”

Leonardo, of course, is viewed by many as the ultimate Renaissance man and was an accomplished inventor as well as an artist. (Note: he also painted “The Last Supper.” “The Creation of Adam” was by Michelangelo.) To that end, the upper floor of the museum displays dozens of Leonardo’s inventions – brought to life from the pages of his journals. Among them are a bicycle, a military tank and a model of Leonardo’s “ideal city.”

The Albuquerque Journal, Intel and Bank of Albuquerque are the primary sponsors of the two-part exhibit “Da Vinci – The Genius.”

In addition to the “Mona Lisa” section, other Leonardo pieces include reproductions of “St. John the Baptist” that are captivating in their own right.

In an age when people young and old are glued to screens tiny and large, this is a chance to see an exhibit based on the work of one of the most talented people who ever lived. So get up, grab the kids and treat yourself to the work of a true genius.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.