Considered by many as the greatest artwork of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is steeped in historical fact and fiction. The painting, which has been speculated to be done by Da Vinci from 1503 to 1517 now calls France’s Louvre Museum its home. It was shifted to the same in the year 1815.
Mona Lisa has been the subject of many great debates and discussions for hundreds of years. The painting. In this article, we will look at ten interesting facts about Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, which you probably did not know about.
Top 7 Interesting Facts about the Mona Lisa
- Mona Lisa is not her real name-
Leonardo Da Vinci was commissioned by the wealthy Nobel, Francesco del Giocando do draw a portrait of his wife in Florence, Italy in the year, 1503. According to experts, the lady who we now famously know as Mona Lisa was actually named Lisa Gherardini. Historians suggest that the rough translation of the term ‘Mona Lisa’ is ‘My Lady Lisa’.
- Napoleon was very fond of her-
Although Da Vinci started working on the Mona Lisa in Italy, he is speculated to have completed the work in France. Many opine that the great Napoleon Bonaparte was in love with the painting and it occupied an esteemed position in his Versailles palace bedroom for four whole years. Napoleon also fell in love with a women named Teresa, who was a descendent of Lisa Gherardini.
- Mona Lisa is valued at $2.5 Billion USD-
In the decade if 1960, the famous painting went on a world tour. At that time, the insurance company valued the painting at $100 Million USD. In a recent assessment done two years back, financial experts filtered in the inflation and assessed the painting to be in the range of two to two and a half billion dollars, making it by far the most expensive piece of art in the world.
- Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911-
France went into mourning as the Mona Lisa was stolen by a staunch Italian nationalist called Vincenzo Peruggia. Peruggia worked at the Louvre, but always believed Mona Lisa’s rightful home is Italy. He wanted to smuggle the painting back to Italy. Pablo Picasso, the legendary artist was also under suspicion for stealing the painting, but was proven innocent.
- Mona Lisa’s Smile is the same-
The mystical attribute regarding the smile makes it seem that it keeps on changing every time you see it. This is why many felt that the image was so alive that it gave a different kind of vibe every time you saw the same. However, a neuroscientist, Dr. Livingstone mathematically proved that human beings perceived her smile according to where they were standing in front of the picture and what was going on in their minds.
- Mona Lisa has been attacked thrice-
While the entire world loves the masterpiece, there are three people in human history who did not take favorably to the painting. In 1956, the Mona Lisa was attacked with a rock thrown by a man named Ego Ungaza Villegas. The painting was the victim of an acid attack, which hit the lower part of the painting. Finally in 2009, woman threw a mug at it after she was denied French citizenship.
- The Mona Lisa has different Versions including the earlier and original Isleworth Mona Lisa-
According to many experts and historians, Da Vinci painted a younger version of the Mona Lisa in the same period of early sixteenth century. Known as the Isleworth Mona Lisa, the painting depicts a much younger Mona Lisa than the one at the Louvre. In the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about the Isleworth Mona Lisa.
Physicist John Asmus who studied the original Mona Lisa has investigated and through computer processing found that the brush strokes on the Isleworth Mona Lisa are exactly similar to the one on the original Mona Lisa. The younger Isleworth Mona Lisa is being regarded by different commentators and historians as the original painting and continues to be one of the most attractive paintings in the world.
The Final Word
Even after more than five hundred years, the Mona Lisa continues to be one of the most attractive paintings in the world. Seeing the Mona Lisa in person is a dream for millions all over the world. Can you think of some more interesting facts about the legendary painting? Let us know in the comments section below.