Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa

 

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The Mona Lisa (click for large image)

Title: The Mona Lisa (La Gioconda)

Year: c. 1503-1505, continued until c. 1517

Size: 77 x 53 cm

Medium: Oil on poplar panel

Location: Louvre Museum, Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mona Lisa painting is a portrait of the Mona or Monna (short for Madonna) Lisa, who was born in Florence in 1479 and married in 1495 to a famous Florentine man, Francesco del Giocondo, hence the other name for The Mona Lisa (La Mona Lisa in Spanish) is ‘La Choconda’.

Dressed in the Florentine fashion of her era, the woman sitting in a visionary mountain landscape is a striking example of Leonardo’s smudge technique for soft, heavily shadowed looks. The Mona Lisa’s mysterious expression, both seductive and aloof, has given this portrait its reputation. The masterpiece is the most famous Leonardo da Vinci paintings.

 

The Mona Lisa History

Leonardo brought the painting from Florence to Milan and later to France. This must have been the portrait that the Cardinal of Aragon and his secretary Antonio de Beattis saw in Cruz, near Amboise, on October 10, 1517. There is a bit of difficulty here, however, because Beattis says the portrait was painted at the request of Giuliano de Medici. Some historians have attempted to address this question by proposing that Monna del Giocondo was Giuliano’s mistress.

The painting may have been acquired by François I from Leonardo himself or his executor Francesco Melzi after his death. It was recorded at Fontainebleau by Vasari (1550), Lomazzo (1590), Peiresc and Cassiano del Pozzo (1625). The latter mentions that when the Duke of Buckingham came to the French court to seek the hand of Henrietta of France for Charles I, he declared that the king was very interested in owning the painting. But the courtiers of Louis XIII stop him from being separated from the photo. It was exhibited at the Napoleonic Museum in 1804; before that, in 1800, Bonaparte placed it in his room at the Tuileries.

From the very beginning, it was highly regarded and reproduced and is considered the prototype of the Renaissance portrait. Vasari told Leonardo that it took four years to complete it. However, the image gives the impression of being fully realized. Suggested dates vary between 1503 and 1513, the most common being 1503-1505.

Leonardo started drawing from a living model, which is ideally expressing the concept of balanced and comprehensive human nature. A smile represents the movement of life and the mystery of the soul. The cloudy blue mountains and their rivers towering over the plain symbolize the universe.

 

8 Facts of The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

1) Why is The Mona Lisa famous?

Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa is famous because of a particular event in the Mona Lisa history. The painting disappeared during a robbery at the Louvre in 1911 and was discovered in Florence in 1913, returning to Paris on December 31 of the same year, causing widespread publicity and scandal.

 

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Return of The Mona Lisa

 

Vincenzo Perugia was commissioned by the Louvre Museum to place a glass encasing around the Mona Lisa, and stole the painting overnight. He was arrested in Italy after several unsuccessful attempts to resell the painting, convicted of theft, and subsequently jailed.

The theft of the Mona Lisa sparked so much media attention and public outcry that after its safe return, the painting was seen as a highly regarded national treasure.

 

2) How much The Mona Lisa original worth?

According to the last insurance appraisal in 2020, the Mona Lisa painting price was worth more than $800 million dollar. A recent luxury analysis by French entrepreneur Stéphane Distinguin puts the piece at around  50 billion EURO.

 

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Priceless painting

 

When King Francis I bought the Mona Lisa, its initial monetary value was 4000 crowns. It hasn’t been sold since King Francis I bought the Mona Lisa after Leonardo da Vinci’s death.

However, the answer is not so clear as the Mona Lisa is legally priceless. It is considered part of French history and belongs to the people, which means the French Republic may never sell the painting to private collectors or other museums.

 

3) How big is The Mona Lisa?

The original Mona Lisa painting is 77 cm x 53 cm (30 in x 21 in) and painted with oil on a poplar panel between c. 1503-1505. Since 1797, The Mona Lisa original painting has been located at the Louvre Museum, Paris.

King Francis I invited Leonardo to work at the Clos Lucé near the Château d’Amboise. Leonardo is believed to have carried the Mona Lisa and continued to work after moving to France. Art historian Carmen C. Bambach concluded that Leonardo probably continued to refine the painting until 1517.

 

4) Who painted The Mona Lisa?

The Mona Lisa, also known as Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is probably the world’s most famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, who was born on April 15, 1452, at Anchiano, Florence.

Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa artist, is an Italian painter, inventor, architect, scientist, and engineer, whose skill and knowledge epitomized the High Renaissance. The Mona Lisa alongside The Last Supper is the most popular and influential painting of the Renaissance ideals, such as individualism, realism, and secularism.

 

5) What was The Mona Lisa painted on?

The Mona Lisa secrets and many other masterpieces of early Renaissance Italian painting were created from poplar wood. Wood strips were used to support the “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre in the mid-19th century. The strips prevented the crack from getting worse and the expert is examining the battens, which are still attached to the paintings.

 

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Poplar wood panel

 

Leonardo, instead of outlining a painted image as was in the Florentine tradition, developed a method called sfumato in Mona Lisa art, which means “vanished or evaporated” in English. A blend of light and shade, as well as color, was imperceptible, and all his work was seamless.

 

6) What is The Mona Lisa meaning?

“Mona” is a common Italian abbreviation for “Madonna”, which means “my lady” and is equivalent to “Madam” in English, so the title means “Madam Lisa”. In modern Italian, the abbreviated form of “Madonna” is often written as “Mona”, so the title is sometimes referred to as the Mona Lisa. More common in Romance, but rare in English.

 

7) Is The Mona Lisa real painting?

The Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum has been copied many times. Probably the most famous copy is the Hekking Mona Lisa, named after an antiquarian Raymond Hekking. It is said to be sold at Christie’s Paris auction house, where it is conservatively estimated to fetch around €200,000-300,000 ($211,000-316,000).

 

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The original Mona Lisa, Louvre Museum, Paris

 

This 17th-century replica of the Mona Lisa previously sold for a whopping $1,695,000, as did the March 2019 edition in New York. Another version sold for €552,500 ($583,000) in Paris in November 2019, and a third sold for €162,500 ($171,000) at Christie’s Paris the same year.

 

8) Can you buy the Mona Lisa painting?

The insured value of a Mona Lisa painting has never been higher than that of Leonardo da Vinci. In the 20th century, the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris was worth $100 million. Taking inflation into account, it would be worth about $860 million in 2020.

Even if Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) could theoretically buy the Mona Lisa, he wouldn’t be able to sell it, and France wouldn’t give up so easily. “The French Heritage Code clearly states that collections found in French national treasures, such as the Louvre and other French national treasures, are considered very important.