What is the Mona Lisa?
The Mona Lisa is an oil painting by Italian artist, inventor, and writer Leonardo da Vinci. Likely completed in 1506, the piece features a portrait of a seated woman set against an imaginary landscape. In addition to being one of the most famous works of art, it is also the most valuable. Permanently located in the Louvre Museum. The Mona Lisa painting is considered a master piece in the world of art. Artists have always been fascinated by it.
Mona Lisa is famous because it was the first painting that used the 1 point perspective i.e. the use of background and it became the standard for all future portrait paintings. Furthermore, the unusual smile, timeless eyes and how the woman looks both young and old at the same time, makes the painting one of its kind. Another reason that caused its fame was its theft by an artist. And when it was recovered it was displayed all over France.
Every year over 6 million people visit the Louvre Museum to see the Mona Lisa
Painted in the 1500s, it was not until the 1860s that it caught the attention of the art critics, who began to regard it as an icon of Renaissance period. However, the Painting become famous outside the art world when it was stolen from the Louvre Museum on August 21st, 1911. It created a media sensation and the theft was reported in the media all over the world.
According to the Guinness World Records, Mona Lisa has the highest insurance value than any other painting in history. The worth of Mona Lisa was assessed to be US$100 million on December 14, 1962.
The size of Mona Lisa is 77 cm x 53 cm i.e. 30 in × 21 in
Who is Mona Lisa?
Rendered similarly to Renaissance portrayals of the Virgin Mary, the piece features a female figure believed by most to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of cloth and silk merchant Francesco Giocondo from the waist up. She is shown seated in a loggia, or a room with at least one open side.
Mona Lisa is an English title that has been derived from the Italian word “Mona” which is short form of the phrase “ma doona“. Mona or Ma doona means “My Lady”. Another name for the mona lisa in Italian is La Gioconda and in French is La Joconde which means happy or jovial.
“Mona Lisa effect
Her gaze is a bewitching part of the composition. Many believe that her eyes follow you across the room, making her an active participant when being viewed, rather than remaining an object to look upon. But while her eyes may seemingly follow you, according to German researchers, this “Mona Lisa effect” actually does not occur in the painting.
The painting of the Mona Lisa visually representation the idea of happiness. This idea of happiness is defined by one word “gioconda” in Italian. The technique used in painting Mona Lisa is called Sfumato. According to Leonardo da Vinci Sfumato is blending of colours without the use of borders and lines just like smoke. This technique creates a soft transition between different tones and colours to make the image more real.
What is the Mona Lisa about?
- Mona Lisa is about a usual portrait painting of its time that with passage of time has become the master piece of art of the Renaissance period. Now it is without any doubt the most recognized painting in the world.
- It is a portrait of a wife of rich Merchant who lived in Florence, Italy.
- The rich merchants of Florence liked to have painted a portrait of themselves once in a lifetime during the Renaissance period.
- A portrait painting was a sign of position and status in the society.
- Such portraits took very long time and the person whose portrait was to be painted was required sit for hours or days before an artist.
Who Painted the Mona Lisa?
- Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
- His full name was Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci and was known as Leonardo da Vinci or Leonardo.
- He was an person of wide knowledge and learning who lived during the Italian Renaissance.
- He was among the greatest painters of his time.
- His areas of interest and expertise included invention, painting, science, sculpting, music, architecture, botany, geology, cartography, writing, anatomy, history, engineering, literature, astronomy and mathematics.
- Historians suggest that it took approximately four years to paint Mona Lisa. It is believed that Leonardo started painting Mona Lisa in 1503, kept working on it for the next four years and also kept it with himself for some years later on.
- Mona Lisa was painted in Florence, Italy.
Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned by Francesco del Giocondo to paint an oil painting. Francesco del Giocondo was a rich silk merchant of Florence. Francesco del Giocondo wanted the painting to be a portrait of his wife that was intended to be hanged in their new home.
Why did the Mona Lisa not have eyebrows?
- In the year 2007, a French engineer named Pascal Cotte analysed the painting using ultra-high resolution scans which showed that Mona Lisa was actually painted with eyebrows and eyelashes.
- However, the eyebrows and eyelashes disappeared over time due to over clean
When was the Mona Lisa stolen?
Mona Lisa was stolen on August 21st, 1911 by Vincenzo Peruggi. He hired three Italian handyman to steal the painting for him. They hid in the Louvre store room over night to steal the painting in the morning.
They ripped the painting from its frame. Vincenzo Peruggi wanted to sell the painting in the black market but Louvre announced the theft and the theft became a media sensation. The theft was reported all over the globe and posters were posted all around Paris.
Vincenzo Perugi was unable to sell the painting as it was now more famous than before, so he kept it for two years. In 1913 he tried to sell it to an art dealer in Florence, who reported him to the police.Vincenzo Peruggi was arrested and sentenced eight months in prison.
People have been seeing the Mona Lisa painting for about 500 years now….
and all have been baffled by the smile. It seems that Mona Lisa is smiling and then after some time it seems that the smile has faded away.In Italy, the word sfumato is used for such smile which means ambiguous and left to the imagination of the viewer.