The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world. Today it is on display at the Louvre in Paris, France and is not likely to be moved. The painting is widely believed to be a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, who was the wife of a wealthy silk merchant in Italy. However, there are many alternative theories behind who is the subject of the painting. Countless copies and caricatures have been created of the painting and this has only increased the popularity of the Mona Lisa. Have you ever wondered who painted the Mona Lisa? Continue reading to find out.
Who painted the Mona Lisa?
The Mona Lisa was painted by the famous Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci. He started painting in 1503 or 1504 and it is not known exactly when he completed the painting, but many historians believe that it was finished in 1519 before he died. King François I, the French King who became a close friend of Leonardo, bought the painting and it has remained in French hands to this day.
Interesting facts about the Mona Lisa
- The Mona Lisa was stolen on August 21, 1911 by Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia. He kept it in his apartment for 2 years and was only caught when he tried to sell the painting to a gallery in Florence.
- The painting has been damaged by an acid attack and by a man throwing a rock. The painting is now displayed behind bulletproof glass to avoid further attacks.
- The painting is housed in a purpose built room in the Louvre museum. It cost over 7 million dollars to build and includes a controlled climate environment.
- A crack has developed in the top of the painting due to the removal of the original frame. It is now held together by butterfly braces and crosspieces to prevent any further cracking.
- Recent evidence shows that there may be at least 3 different versions of the painting under the final version. This does not come as a surprise to many, as Leonardo is famous for being a consummate perfectionist.