Mona Lisa Facts

Mona Lisa Facts
The Mona Lisa is considered by many to the most famous painting in the world. It was painted by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, in approximately 1503 to 1506, although some estimate he continued to work on the painting until 1517. The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait of a figure believed to be the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, Lisa Gherardini. The 30 inch x 21 inch painting is an original oil painting on white, poplar panel. Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint the piece in Italy. He worked on it in Italy and finished it while living in France. It was later acquired by King Francis I of France and became the French Republic's property. Since 1797 it has been on display at one of the most famous museums in the world - Paris' Louvre.
Interesting Mona Lisa Facts:
The original name of the Mona Lisa was Monna Lisa, but a spelling mistake made it the Mona Lisa. In Italian, Monna means Madonna, which means 'My lady'.
Although many believe the painting was created in the image of Lisa Gherardini, others believe that it is a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci himself.
Lisa Gherardini was the 24 year old wife of Francesco del Giocondo and mother of two sons.
The eyebrows and eyelashes of Mona Lisa are missing, but the reason has been debated for many years. Some believe that they were accidentally removed during a restoration. Others believe that due to Leonardo da Vinci's obsession with perfection in his work resulted in him never completing the painting - meaning the Mona Lisa never had eyebrows to begin with. It was popular at the time of the painting's creation for women to pluck their eyebrows and eyelashes.
There are three previous layers beneath the Mona Lisa depicting her in different poses.
The Mona Lisa is literally priceless and because of this it cannot be insured for any amount of money.
In 1911 the Mona Lisa disappeared from the Louvre in Paris. Among the suspects of the theft was Pablo Picasso. He was questioned and jailed but later proven innocent.
In 1913 Vincenzo Perugia was discovered to be the true thief of the Mona Lisa. He was an Italian patriot and believed the painting should be in Italy. He was an employee of the Louvre when he stole it and he kept it in his apartment for the two years it was missing. When he tried to sell the painting to a gallery in Florence, Italy, his identity was revealed and he was later arrested for the theft.
The Mona Lisa is so coveted that it has its own climate-controlled room in the Louvre Museum in Paris, with bullet-proof glass to protect it. The room is estimated to have cost more than $7 million to build.
Before having its own room in the Louvre, the Mona Lisa was damaged purposefully. In 1956 Ugo Ungaza threw a stone at the Mona Lisa and damaged a portion of the painting near her left elbow.
The Mona Lisa is a hot topic in the art world. The expression on her face has been the subject of debate for many years. Her expression is generally neutral but debates over the emotions behind her expression have suggested she is happy, disgusted, fearful, or angry.

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