Mona Lisa

About The Mona Lisa Painting

The Mona Lisa painting is known by several names, called the Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, La Gioconda or La Joconde and is one of the world’s most famous paintings, having the highest ever insurance value according to the Guiness Book of World Records. This popular wooden, half-length portrait has been in the scrutiny of both the art-lovers and the critics. It has been the most parodied work in the world of art and draws interpretations from several fields across. The legacy it carries goes on from a Florence merchant’s palace to Napoleon and then to the Louvre in France. The lady’s gaze in the painting is said to follow you everywhere and it’s hard to interpret whether she is smiling or not smiling in the picture. The Mona Lisa history is as complex, making it stand-out from all other artworks,and establishing it as a phenomenal piece that’s irreplaceable.

Where is the Mona Lisa?

After having been moved around the world for half a century at various museums and exhibits spanning from seven weeks at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in the U.S.A to New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city. In the year 1974, it went to the Tokyo National Muesum in Japan and then to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow which is located in Russia. The Mona Lisa painting finally found its permanent residence inside the biggest room of the Louvre Museum called Salle des Etats, located on the first floor of the Denon Wing. It’s concealed by a bulletproof, temperature-controlled glass as this painting was made on poplar wood instead of an oil canvas which has warped over the years and thus requires its temperature to be monitored regularly.

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History of the Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa, since its advent, has an unrivaled history of fame and splendor that adds to its name. Right after Da Vinci’s death in 1519, Francis I showcased it in an art gallery at Fontainebleau. Towards the 1800s, the painting made its way to the Tuileries Palace and was hung in Napoleon’s bedroom. Thereafter, in 1804, it was taken to the Louvre Museum in Paris.

In the 1900s the attacks or attempts of theft on the painting began. In 1911, it was stolen from the Museum, and surprisingly, people went to see the blank wall too. Two years later, it was found again and the man who stole it was the one who had helped in installing it. Thereafter, it was moved to various places and different cities to be exhibited. Another attack that comes in the way of this half-length portrait is in the year 1956, when its lower half is doused with acid and no harm to the painting gets reported. Following the month of december, same year, a man threw a rock at the painting which chipped off some paint from her elbow. This event led to a bullet-proof glass being installed around it. In 2009, a ceramic mug was thrown at it and recently, a climate activist tried smearing the painting with a cake urging people to take care of the planet.

Interesting Facts About the Mona Lisa

The facts about Mona Lisa are numerous and end up contributing enormously to its fame too.

  • Unknown yearsIt is popularly said that the Master Leonardo Da Vinci worked on this painting for 11 years but nobody knows the exact timeframe, adding more to its uniqueness.
  • Complicated historyMona Lisa was the wife of this Florence businessman called Francesco del Giocondo. It’s said that when Da Vinci drew her portrait, he kept it with himself for some reason instead of giving it to this wealthy merchant.
  • Artistic techniqueIt’s said that until his death, Leonardo worked on this oil painting relentlessly adding layers and layers of paints which are visible in the cracks of the painting. He also used this technique called ‘smufato’ to make it look realistic. A lot of critics also believe that the painting is as complicated as a human mind.
  • No eyebrowsAn art expert has claimed that the Mona Lisa did have eyebrows and eyelashes which have both been eroded with time and hence aren’t visible to the naked eye but can be viewed with the help of a scanner.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Mona Lisa

Who painted the Mona Lisa?

The Mona Lisa painting is a masterpiece of the great Leonardo da Vinci. It goes by various other names in different countries, like La Gioconda in Italy and La Joconde in France.

When was the Mona Lisa created?

The Mona Lisa painting took four years to complete and the work on it began in the year 1503. He allegedly gifted the painting to King Francois I during his stay in the Cloux Manor near Amboise.

What is the Mona Lisa worth today?

One of the interesting facts about Mona Lisa is that it won’t be sold for anything less than 500,000 million Euros as per a report by a technology company, financially speaking. Guinness World Records also lists it as having the highest ever insurance value for a painting.

Where is the Mona Lisa?

Given the multiple attacks on the Mona Lisa painting, it is exhibited in a protective glass case, located centrally in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Can I see the Mona Lisa?

Yes, the painting is located in the biggest room of the Louvre Museum, called the Salle Des Etats, found on Room 711, 1st floor of the Denon Wing.

Who stole the Mona Lisa?

Vincenzo Perugia, a handyman for the Louvre Museum who had installed the glass for the same painting, stole it with the intention of re-selling it. This accounts as one of the most interesting facts about the Mona Lisa as it resulted in an increased value of this artwork.

Why is the Mona Lisa so famous?

There are several factors that contribute to the fame of this painting. The fact that it was hung in Napoleon’s room, it is showcased in the Louvre Museum which is one the world’s most visited museums and the attacks and stolen attempt do bring a name to i

Is the Mona Lisa in the Louvre?

Yes, the Mona Lisa painting is placed in room number 711, also called Salle Des Etats, hung-centrally in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Why is the Mona Lisa so special?

The Mona Lisa history is what makes it so special; the way this oil painting was worked upon for several years along with Da Vinci’s technique of smufato that uses light and shadow to form a very realistic portrait.


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