History of Monalisa | Why is Monalisa Painting So Famous?

History of Monalisa | Why is Monalisa Painting So Famous?

Mona Lisa, also called Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Florentine merchant Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo, an oil painting on a poplar wood panel by Leonardo da Vinci, is one of the world’s most famous Painting. Leonardo Da Vinci painted his Renaissance masterpiece “Mona Lisa” sometime between 1503 and 1517, while he worked in Florence and later in France, and it now hangs in the Louvre Museum, in Paris. The Painting’s mysterious smile and her unproven identity have made it a source of ongoing research and fascination. 


 Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born in 1452; he was the illegitimate son of a nobleman. Based on the little information available about his childhood, scholars claim that at a young age, Leonardo was working as an apprentice under an artist and sculptor named Andrea di Cione del Verrocchio.  Throughout his career, Leonardo created many sophisticated pieces of art. During the 1500s, began work on what would come to be known as the Mona Lisa.

Leonardo da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa about 1503, and it remained in his studio when he died in 1519. It measures 30 inches by 21 inches (77 cm by 53 cm). Unlike many artworks of the time, which mostly used canvas, Mona Lisa stands out to be a bit different as she is painted on a poplar wood panel. While this may seem odd, but one should not forget that Leonardo as a sculptor and artist had painted on large plastered walls of throughout most of his career, so perhaps a wooden panel wasn’t much of a stretch for him.

French King Francis I, acquired the Painting after the artist’s death, and it became part of the royal collection. Speculations surround that the woman in the image could be one among the many Italian noblewomen of the time. There is even an accessible version of the story that the Mona Lisa is a feminized version of Leonardo himself.

Why is Monalisa So Famous?

There are numerous behind Mona Lisa’s enduring fame, and when all of them are combined, they create a fascinating story which has lasted through the ages. 

Interesting Facts: The Mona Lisa

  1. The Mona Lisa was painted by polymath Leonardo da Vinci and is believed to be the Painting of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco Giocondo.
  2. For such a famous painting, it is surprisingly small; it measures just 30 inches by 21 inches.
  3. The Painting uses several unique art techniques to draw the viewer’s attention.
  4. The Painting was stolen in 1911 from the Louvre and was recovered two years later. It is now housed behind bulletproof glass to protect her from vandals.

Distinctive Art Techniques

  1. The subject’s softly sculptural face depicts Leonardo’s skilful handling of sfumato, a technique that uses subtle.  
  2.  Her smile keeps changing, depending on the angle from which the viewer is looking, from one viewpoint she seems happy, and from another, the viewer finds it difficult to tell if she’s happy or not. 
  3. Leonardo’s mastery of lighting and shadows adds another gem into his masterpiece, i.e. the woman’s eyes in the painting appear to follow the viewer wherever they move. Leonardo wasn’t the first to create the appearance that a subject’s eyes are pursuing people around the room. Still, the effect is so closely associated with his skill that it has become known—somewhat incorrectly—as the “Mona Lisa Effect.”
  4. Even though it is impossible to put a price tag on the 500-year-old Painting, Mona Lisa’s estimated worth is nearly $1 billion.

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