Look at the Mona Lisa. At first she’s smiling. Then it appears she’s not. Look away, and when you return to her she’s smiling once more. Who is she and what does she know? The painter Yan Pei-Ming, who regards this face as the most iconic in the world, sees the Mona Lisa as “a metaphor of time in its infinity.” Famous for his broad, sweeping brushstrokes in bold colors, Yan paints portraits of historical characters. On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, he’s painted eight portraits of the mystery woman and her immortal smile. —E.C.
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