Why is the Mona Lisa so famous?
Five centuries after Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa (1503–19), the portrait hangs behind bulletproof glass within the Louvre Museum and draws thousands of jostling spectators each day.
She’s dressed modestly in a translucent veil, dark robes, and no jewelry. Much has been said about her smile and gaze, but viewers still might wonder what all the fuss is about. The Mona Lisa’s fame is the result of many chance circumstances combined with the painting’s inherent appeal.
The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world”. The painting’s novel qualities include the subject’s enigmatic expression, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modeling of forms, and atmospheric illusionism.
The painting is probably of the Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, and is in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. Leonardo never gave the painting to the Giocondo family, and later it is believed he left it in his will to his favored apprentice Salaì. It had been believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506; however, Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic itself, on permanent display at the Louvre, Paris since 1797.
The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962 (equivalent to $870 million in 2021).
(Source Wikipedia, Britannica)
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