Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

The Mona Lisa painted by the Italian Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci can be considered to be the most famous piece of art in the world. This priceless half-length portrait has been in the hands of many people throughout its lifetime, currently it now hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.  

The woman in the painting named Mona Lisa, also known as Lisa La Gioconda, the wife to Francesco del La Gioconda. Mona Lisa is dressed in Florentine fashion of her time and sitting behind an abstract mountainous landscape. During the Renaissance in 1503 when the painting was completed, it was the one of the first ever portrait with an aerial perspective. Since Da Vinci was such a famous artist at the time, this inspired many other painters to create similar portraits. The artistic details that make this painting so remarkable are Da Vinci’s sfumato technique, which shows colours gradually shading into each other. This shading technique can be seen all around the portrait, but especially on her face.

What makes the Mona Lisa such a renowned painting is not the work of art itself; instead, the story behind its lifetime. Da Vinci worked on the Mona Lisa on and off near the later years of his career and finally completing it in 1503. For the next three hundred years the painting was hung in many french palaces. In the early 19th century, Napoleon put the Mona Lisa on his bedroom wall. This brought a lot of attention to the painting. Once Napoleon was exiled from France the Mona Lisa was hung at the Louvre, until 1911 when the painting was stolen from the museum. This caused havoc to spread in France and police were investigating everyone, including Pablo Picasso a famous painter at the time. Luckily, the Mona Lisa was found in Florence and was returned to the Louvre Museum. From that day forward, people from around the world have travelled to come see the five hundred year old painting. It is estimated that six million people view the painting at the Louvre every year.

Let’s talk about Art HistorySources:

The Mona Lisa – by Leonardo Da Vinci. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://www.leonardodavinci.net/the-mona-lisa.jsp

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