How Much Is Mona Lisa Worth? Who Painted Mona Lisa?

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Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa is an art masterpiece, one of the most famous works of art in history. It is one of the most valuable paintings available in the world. It is the property of the French Republic, acquired by King Francis I of France and has been on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris since 1979. The identity of the woman in the painting is strongly believed to be the Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. This article shades light upon the history of the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa.

Who Painted Mona Lisa?

The Mona Lisa masterpiece is painted by the greatest painter, Leonardo da Vinci. He is an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. Other famous paintings by da Vinci are The Last Supper, Vitruvian Man, and Salvator Mundi among others.

Mona Lisa Leonardo da Vinci

Source: @ABCNews

Why is Mona Lisa so famous?

Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece Mona Lisa is the most famous artwork in history. It is the best known, the most visited, the most written about work of art in history. It is considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. The techniques used to draw Mona Lisa has pioneered its significance.

It is also the most parodied work of art in the world.

Mona Lisa History

Leonardo da Vinci started working on a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, the model of the Mona Lisa by October 1503. Some believe it was started in 1504 in Florence. Working on it for years, he left it unfinished. He was invited by King Francis to work at the Clos Luce near the Chateau d'Amboise in 1516 and it is believed that he took the Mona Lisa with him and continued to work on it. While others believe there is only one true Mona Lisa, a number of experts argued that Leonardo made two versions of the Mona Lisa. The hypothetical first portrait would have been commissioned by Giocondo circa 1503 and left unfinished in Leonardo's pupil and assistant Salai's possession until his death in 1524. The hypothetical second portrait commissioned by Giuliano de' Medici circa 1513, would have been sold by Salai to Francis in 1518 and is the one in the Louvre today. 

Mona Lisa gallery

Source: @Wikipedia

At some point in the 16th century, a varnish was applied to the painting. The painting was kept at the Palace of Fontainebleau until Louis XIV moved it to the Palace of Versailles. Since 1979, it was kept on permanent display at the Louvre.

The painting Mona Lisa was not widely known outside the art world until the French intelligentsia began to praise it as a masterwork of Renaissance painting. Bulletproof glass has been used to shield the painting to prevent from damage and theft attempts. The most recent on 29 May 2022, a male activist, disguised as a woman in a wheelchair, threw cake at the protective glass covering the painting in an apparent attempt to raise awareness of climate change. Due to the protective glass, the painting remained undamaged. The 500 years old painting has received cleaning and touch-ups several times, the first being recorded in 1809. Jean-Marie Hooghstoel was assigned for the restoration of paintings.

At present, a group has only about 30 seconds to see the painting, a new system introduced in 2019.

Mona Lisa Louvre

Source: @NYtimes

Mona Lisa Meaning

The term "Mona" was a common Italian contraction of "madonna", meaning "my lady" or "madam". The title is sometimes given as Monna Lisa as the "madonna" in short form is usually spelt "Monna".

How Much Is Mona Lisa Worth?

Mona Lisa Painting is the property of the French Republic. It has been the property of France after King Francis I of France acquired it. It is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known painting insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962, which is equivalent to $900 million in 2022). The 500-year-old masterpiece is worth nearly $1 billion at present.

About the Mona Lisa Smile

Among all the other importance of the painting, Mona Lisa, one of the most mystical elements is her smile. Leonardo da Vinci painted it the way where her smile flickers and fades away mysteriously. And it is true, as we stare at it, it flickers. The smile on her face tends to flicker and fade depending upon the part we gaze at. She is seen smiling when we gaze at her eyes but fades away when we look directly at her mouth. It is believed that the smile on her face is caused by the way we see. 

How Many Times Has The Mona Lisa Been Stolen?

The art masterpiece, Mona Lisa has been the subject of interest for centuries. Its significance and value have made it the centre of attraction. There are not many records of attempted burglary of the painting but was once stolen back in history. The painting was stolen from the Louvre on 21 August 1911. French poet Guillaume Apollinaire was suspected of the theft and was arrested and imprisoned. Apollinaire implicated his friend, Pablo Picasso who was also brought in for questioning. They both were later exonerated after the real culprit was discovered. Following an investigation, Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia was found as the culprit. Peruggia, who had helped construct the painting's glass case, carried out the theft by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet, and walking out with the painting hidden under his coat after the museum had closed. He believed that the painting should have been returned to an Italian museum. Peruggia kept the painting in his apartment for two years. Impatient to keep the painting, he attempted to sell Mona Lisa to Giovanni Poggi, director of the Uffizi Gallery in France. And he was caught. The painting was returned to the Louvre in January 1914. A journalist Karl Decker claimed that he met an accomplice named Eduardo de Valfierno, who claimed to have masterminded the theft.

No official burglary attempt of the painting has been recorded but there are numerous records of attempts to vandalize it.