Mona Lisa : Painting history, Why Mona Lisa is so famous

Published on 17-Sep-2022

Mona Lisa

'Mona Lisa' is known for being the most archetypal Painting of all time. Created somewhere between the year of 1903 to the year of 1959 by the infamous Renaissance Artist and Engineer named Leonardo da Vinci. 'Mona Lisa' has since ranked as one of da Vinci's best creations. 

Mona Lisa painting

Mona Lisa or "Lisa Gherardini," as noted by the Renaissance scholars, is presumed to be a portrait of Gherardini del Giocondo, wife of Florentine Merchant Francesco del Giocondo. Francesco was notoriously involved in the business of the slave trade back in the 1900s. This world-renowned Painting received an immediate backlash from Victorian society.

Mona Lisa


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The Painting was speculated to symbolize 'sex and infidelity' between Francesco del Giocondo and his numerous slaves, resulting in Gherardini's negligence. She faced isolation, ultimately leading to her having her affairs out of wedlock. Mona Lisa radiates mystery, sensuality, and gratification, as often proclaimed by the visitors.

Critics have recognized that this contrasting image was put together by Leonard da Vinci through the method of "sfumato." It's an Italian term for the technique of 'shedding' that involves the softening of colors to outline a hazy tone, making the Painting look almost alluring to the eyes. Today 'Mon Lisa' is hung at the Grand Gallery of the Louvre in Paris for visitors from all over the world to admire. 

The concept behind the Painting

Mona Lisa's beauty is one of the most striking factors behind its absolute popularity. For several years since the 'Mona Lisa' exposition, Leonardo da Vinci has been praised for the 'life-like' feature demonstrated in the portrait. The half-body oil painting of the woman in what seems to be a black silk dress and a similar black veil covering half her loose curls caught an incredible amount of attention from the onlookers.

Most wealthy women then preferred to have their portraits of heavy jewelry adorning their bodies, paired with the most lovely looking bold red, blue, or pure white colored dresses. It made them look relatively pristine and indifferent to commoners. However, even though Mona Lisa exudes similar yet unmatched elegance as the other Painting of that era, the lack of jewelry on the woman in the picture left the unsuspecting society astonished at the masterpiece.

Some experts suggest that the outfit choice is an improvisation of da Vinci. Presumably, he might have taken liberty with the initiation of her clothing to characterize her within the soft dull vision of the Painting even further. From the sensual wave of her hair to the gentle curve of her frame, the accumulation of her seductive nature gratifies the relatively peaceful scenery of the landscape behind her.

The elongated mellow river extending afar, surrounded by trees and shrubs at the side, blended under a faded yellow hue of the sky, sings in harmony. The vision within the Painting creates a sense of tranquility and serenity. 

Historical events of Mona Lisa Painting

Mona Lisa is undoubtedly one of the most sought paintings of all time. Several Kings and High Profiled officers have been accounted to have taken possession of this masterpiece of a painting as recorded in history. Mona Lisa wasn't publicly displayed to the outside world until Leonardo da Vinci, the great Renaissance man, passed in 1959. He died in France under the rule of the French king, King Francis I.

It has been presumed that Leonardo da Vinci carried the Painting with him in all his travels, starting from 1903, when he allegedly began the Painting, to his later years of living in the French court till his inevitable death. He left the Painting in his studio, which was later collected by King Francis I, who took a great liking to the artwork and kept it as a prized piece in his royal art collection.

On the other hand, it is believed that King Francis I purchased the artwork from da Vinci's heir for a striking 4,000 gold ducts. He later lost his ownership over the masterpiece during the French revolution. The French army claimed the art piece as the property of the Republic. These events have bombarded the modern audience with theories about the origin of the 'Mona Lisa.' While some claim that the Painting rightfully belongs to Italy since it is da Vinci's birthplace, other historians have debunked such claims as they believe that the infamous Painting lawfully belongs to France. Leonardo da Vinci arrived in Amboise with his artworks, including "Virgin and Child with St. Anne" and "St. John the Baptist," along with "Mona Lisa" in the year 1516 Milan.

It was noted that a political conflict with the Vatican forced da Vinci to leave his country at 60. The French King provided da Vinci with the liberty and freedom he sought and luxurious royal living accommodations. This resulted in da Vinci spending his last years in France and living his legacy to the French culture. The three masterpieces of da Vinci that he carried with him have been on display in the French museum at Louvre.

Furthermore, during the 2nd World War, ' Mona Lisa' was considered the most endangered art piece in France. The French government commissioned extra security the safeguard their "Prized painting" alone. It could be assumed that it was a direct inclination from the 'Mona Lisa theft by Vincenzo Perugia in 1911.

Perugia smuggled the Painting to Italy, where it was put on public display for hundreds of curious visitors to see. Napolean Bonaparte was also one of the holders of the 'Mona Lisa.' He hung the Painting in his bedroom for a few years before returning it to Louvre in 1801. 

The 'Mona Lisa's allure has been a worldwide sensation for centuries. The grand Painting even traveled to countries such as Japan, the USA, and Russia to enchant the visitors with her appealing smile and inviting eyes that seem to follow the sightseers as they pass by. Currently, this marvelous artwork is hung at the "Grande Galerie" of the Louvre palace under close inspection of art restorers responsible for attending to the Painting and restoring 'The Mona Lisa alive.


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