Leonardo da Vinci
Why we love it
The Mona Lisa is famous for its attractiveness but also for many fortuitous circumstances. It shows Leonardo’s skillful handling of the sfumato technique, an artistic technique that uses subtle gradations of light and shadow to model form.
A few tips to know about the masterpiece:
From Italy to France. Although da Vinci began working on his work in Italy, he finished it when he moved to France. There he stayed, even Napoleon Bonaparte kept the painting on his dressing table.
It was stolen and Picasso was under suspicion of the theft and today the work has its own room in the Louvre Museum in Paris. In 1911, the famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci disappeared from the Louvre Museum. It was considered the robbery of the century. During the investigation, some artists as Pablo Picasso were questioned about the theft. With the robbery came his fame.
Today the work has its own room in the Louvre Museum in Paris. An unbreakable glass display case maintains a controlled temperature of 43º F. and a small spotlight brings out the true colors of the original Da Vinci paintings.
She has her own mailbox, though not everyone is a fan. Since 1815, the Louvre has received many love letters and flowers from admirers for Mona Lisa. In 1956 she suffered two separate attacks, one person threw acid at the painting, and another a stone. You can still see a little damage. The addition of bulletproof glass repelled subsequent attacks with spray paint in 1974 and a cup of coffee in 2009.
She cannot be bought or sold. Truly priceless, the painting cannot be bought or sold according to French heritage law. As part of the Louvre collection, “Mona Lisa” belongs to the public, and by popular agreement, their hearts belong to her. Today (2021) there are those who think that it can be worth up to 450.3 million dollars, and help France to get out of the pandemic.
Mona Lisa meaning: Mona referred to Madonna, as they addressed all women. The Italian name for the Mona Lisa painting is La Gioconda, which literally means “the happy one.” It is said to be a pun on the feminine form of Lisa’s marriage surname: Giocondo.
Replicas and reinterpretations. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is one of the most recognizable and famous works of art in the world, and also one of the most replicated and reinterpreted. Prominent 20th-century artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí have also produced derivative works, manipulating Mona Lisa’s image to suit their own aesthetic. Enjoy more here.
Learn about why Leonardo da Vinci’s painting the Mona Lisa is so famous in this video from Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It is a Deep Work: It took approximately 16 years to paint the Mona Lisa, between the years of 1503 and 1519.