Mona Lisa, the portrait painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world” by the Independent Journal.
Why is it so famous?
And guess what is the first thing most of the people do when they enter into the Louvre Museum? Yes, to see the Mona Lisa! You will probably be surprised by the queue and cannot get an “Instagrammable” photo because the painting is just too small to see it from far.
(Photo source: Leonardo da Vinci)
Here are the 6 interesting facts
But, what is really so famous about the Mona Lisa? Many scholars pointed out that the excellent quality of the painting was not enough by itself to make it a celebrity. Let’s discover this together!
1. A thief made her famous!
The Mona Lisa painting was completed in year 1517. However, most people never heard of Mona Lisa until it was stolen in 1911. This means that the painting was over 350 years old before critics and scholars began to recognise it as a masterpiece. Certainly, the theft of the painting and the frenzy of ensuing media brought Mona Lisa to worldwide attention.
2. Pablo Picasso was arrested as a suspect
One of the most interesting facts is the Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso was once under suspicion for the theft. He was even brought in for questioning. Nonetheless, his suspicions was proved to be unfounded and unsubstantiated.
Check out this painting “The Cubist” inspired by Pablo Picasso.
3. She has her own mailbox at the Louvre
Over the years, many have fallen in love with the portrait’s enigmatic expression, which seems both alluring and aloof. She received a lot of love letters since the painting first arrived in 1815. And now, Mona Lisa even has her own mailbox in the Louvre.
4. Her eyes has his name, L.V.
Critics and scholars have come out with all kinds of stories and theories about the paintings. Some are educational and some are bizarre. According to a microscopic scrutiny by the Italian National Committee for Cultural Heritage, the artist’s initials L.V. appear in the Mona Lisa’s right eye.
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5. The Mona Lisa was not painted on canvas
Although canvas was available since the 14th century, the famous masterpiece of Mona Lisa was not painted on a canvas. Instead, it was painted using oil paint on a poplar wood panel.
6. Mona Lisa is not her real name
Many scholars suggest that the subject of the painting is actually Lisa Gherardini. It was her husband, the Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo who commissioned the painting. However, there is no records of such a commission from Francesco exist, and the model in the painting has never been conclusively identified. This makes the masterpiece even more intriguing and mysterious, which also contribute to its fame.