Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, is the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. This painting is painted as oil on wood.
The original painting size is 77 x 53 cm (30 x 20 7/8 in) and is owned by the Government of France and is on the wall in the Louvre in Paris, France.
This figure of a woman, dressed in the Florentine fashion of her day and seated in a visionary, mountainous landscape, is a remarkable instance of Leonardo’s sfumato technique of soft, heavily shaded modeling. The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic expression, which seems both alluring and aloof, has given the portrait universal fame.
The Mona Lisa’s famous smile represents the sitter in the same way that the juniper branches represent Ginevra Benci and the ermine represents Cecilia Gallerani in their portraits, in Washington and Krakow respectively. It is a visual representation of the idea of happiness suggested by the word “gioconda” in Italian. Leonardo made this notion of happiness the central motif of the portrait: it is this notion that makes the work such an ideal.
The nature of the landscape also plays a role. The middle distance, on the same level as the sitter’s chest, is in warm colors. Men live in this space: there are a winding road and a bridge. This space represents the transition between the space of the sitter and the far distance, where the landscape becomes a wild and uninhabited space of rocks and water which stretches to the horizon, which Leonardo has cleverly drawn at the level of the sitter’s eyes.
Interesting facts and secrets:-
- This was on August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from its permanent resting place in Le Louvre, Paris, France.
- The Mona Lisa is widely considered to be the archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance.
- Before the COVID-19 pandemic, an average of 1,500 people an hour visited the Mona Lisa.
- Even though there are over 6,000 paintings at the Louvre, over 90% of museum vistors go directly to the Mona Lisa.
- Mona Lisa should actually be spelled Monna Lisa, which is an abbreviation of Madonna Lisa or “my lady Lisa.”
- According to French heritage law, the Mona Lisa cannot be bought or sold. The painting belongs to the public.
- Mona Lisa has her own mailbox at the Louvre because of all the love letters she receives.
- In 1919, Dadaist Marcel Duchamp painted one of the most famous parodies of the Mona Lisa. Titled LHQQ the initials sound in French like “she has a hot ass
- On June 23, 1852, French artist Luc Maspero threw himself from the 4th story window of his Paris hotel room. He left a note about the Mona Lisa, saying, “For years I have grappled with her smile. I prefer to die.”
- The Mona Lisa has been attacked several times. In 1956, a man through acid at the painting. A few months later, a man threw a rock at the painting, chipping some of its pigment. The painting now is secured behind bullet-proof glass.
- After the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, it took museum staff 48 hours to notice. After the theft, subsequent media attention helped propel the Mona Lisa to international fame.
- Though it looms large in cultural influence, the Mona Lisa is rather small: just 30 inches by 21 inches, and 18 pounds.
- Famed artist Pablo Picasso was a suspect in the 1911 Mona Lisa theft because he had been caught before trying to sell stolen Louvre pieces.
- While it appears that the Mona Lisa does not have eyelashes or eyebrows, a 2007 study revealed that she originally was painted with them. They gradually disappeared, most likely due to overcleaning.
- It is thought that Da Vinci kept the Mona Lisa with him for more than decade and kept working on it up until his death.
- In 2005, Mona Lisa’s face was analyzed using “emotion recognition” software. The analysis revealed that she is 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful, and 2% angry.
- The Mona Lisa is not painted on canvas. Instead, it is painted on three pieces of wood, which are about 1.5 inches thick.
- The “Mona Lisa Effect” is the illusion that the eyes of a person in an image follow you, no matter where you stand. However, it isn’t true for the actual Mona Lisa.
- Napoleon hung the Mona Lisa in his bedroom.
- Most art historians believe the subject of the Mona Lisa is Lisa Gheradini, the second wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine silk merchant.
- Although Francesco del Giocondo commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa, for some reason, Leonardo did not give it to him. Leonardo eventually took the painting with him to France, where he worked on it until his death.
- In 1983, a Japanese artist made a replica of the Mona Lisa on a piece of toast.
- On April 21, 1974, a woman spray painted the Mona Lisa red to protest the museum’s failure to provide access for disabled people. The painting was behind protective glass and was unharmed.
- The Mona Lisa is the most visited, most written about, most sung about, and most parodied work of art in the world.
- Napoleon Bonaparte was enamored by the Mona Lisa, describing her as the “Sphinx of the Orient.” He referred to her as “Madame Lisa.