Mona Lisa or Gioconda is perhaps the most recognizable image in the world. This is the most popular painting. A lot of secrets appear when so many eyes and attention are riveted to the picture. Riddles and conjectures do not give rest. “Mona Lisa” or “Gioconda” has become not just the most famous creation of Leonardo da Vinci, but also the most mysterious masterpiece of the world. The great master has hidden many secrets in his painting.
Leonardo da Vinci, the most famous, without exaggeration, artist in the world, whose talents were not limited to painting. He had a very bright head.
The word “mona” is derived from “monna”, namely, an abbreviated version of the phrase “ma donna” (translated as “my lady”).
The skin of the model in the picture seems to be the same illusory. It seems that touching the painting, you can feel the softness and fragility of the skin.
The painting is considered the most painted and discussed portrait of all time.
Why is Mona Lisa so famous?
“Mona Lisa” is not just a painting, but a whole treasure trove of riddles that Leonardo da Vinci left us. A lot of secrets are connected both with the history of creation and the fate of this creation, and with him.
The Mona Lisa is also known for its exhibition at the Louvre, as well as its wide reproduction in popular art and culture.
Why is Mona Lisa famous?
There are several reasons why the Mona Lisa is so famous.
We will tell you about the main reasons why the painting continues to gain such wide popularity today.
Mona Lisa’s face
Of course, the most mysterious detail of the canvas remains Mona Lisa’s smile. So much has been said and written about it, but when looking at her smile, many people notice special details.
The extraordinary skill of the author creates a stunning effect. A smile is visible when you look into the eyes of Gioconda. Lowering the gaze to the lips, their corners become lower, and the face acquires a shade of sadness.
No less striking are the eyes of the lady depicted in the portrait. Wherever the viewer looks, they invariably follow him. This phenomenon is explained scientifically by the application of colors, the play of light and shadow, precisely calculated proportions.
The author very painstakingly and diligently tried to draw every detail. And he succeeded. Your eyes are shining, as if you are looking at a living person.
Unlike many works of that time, the Gioconda was painted not on canvas, but on a wooden tablet made of poplar.
The painting is a waist portrait. There is a young woman in the background of a landscape. She is half-turned and calmly sitting in a low-backed chair. The girl from the picture is presented in fairly simple clothes. Previously, they preferred to draw portraits of people in rich clothes. Instead of wealth and social status, the focus is on a woman’s face.
The expression of emotions written on the woman’s face was also unusual for that time. For the upper class, it was customary to portray restrained expressions, calm emotions.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Gioconda painting is one of the first portraits in history, depicting a model against a panorama background. And Leonardo was one of the first artists who used and could depict those who used aerial perspective. An interesting feature of the landscape is that it is heterogeneous: the left side is slightly lower than the right. Given Leonardo’s great attention to detail, most experts are sure that this is not a fictional landscape, but a very accurate place in Tuscany.
Who was the prototype of Mona Lisa?
Another reason explaining the intrigue surrounding the Mona Lisa is the mysterious nature of the woman’s personality.
But what opinions did not exist about the identification of the model! There were many assumptions: various names of contemporaries were called.
One theory was that Mona Lisa was a disguised self-portrait of da Vinci.
Another version is that this is a portrait of Mrs. Lisa Giocondo. Her husband, a fabric merchant from Florence, was very fond of his third wife. Therefore, the portrait was commissioned by Leonardo.
Until the end, no one was able to solve the mystery of who is actually depicted in the picture.
Historians agree that the portrait was painted for a long time. Therefore, everyone is inclined to believe that Leonardo da Vinci painted his famous portrait.
How did Mona Lisa end up in France?
“La Gioconda” was Leonardo’s favorite painting. He brought his work from Italy to France when he accepted an offer from King Francis I to take up the post of court architect and engineer. And three years later, the genius of the Renaissance left this world. The French monarch, having bought the Mona Lisa from the heirs for fabulous money, hung the portrait in his office.
The Mona Lisa has remained the property of the French monarchy for centuries.
Now “Gioconda” is constantly in the main museum of Paris in the Louvre.
The loss of the Mona Lisa
In August 1911, the Mona Lisa disappeared from the museum. She was searched for 3 years. The criminal gave away in the stupidest way. He placed an ad in the newspaper about the sale of the painting. A collector came to see the painting and realized that the person who submitted the ad was not crazy. The Mona Lisa was actually gathering dust under his mattress. The thief turned out to be the Italian Vincenzo Perugia, who worked in the Louvre as a glazier.
Perugia explained that he had not planned the theft. He noticed that the painting was not particularly guarded and decided to take it away. However, the investigation revealed that the thief intended to sell the Mona Lisa with a large profit. Eventually Vincenzo spent several months in prison, and in December 1913 the painting was returned to its place.
After the theft, this work became one of the most protected in the world. It has glass, armored cover and railing.
After the theft and return, the painting finally turned into a symbol of art, became a star, more popular.
Modern mass reproductions
Everything new is well-forgotten. It is believed that all novelty comes from the ideas of the past and has a direct connection with it.
After the theft of the painting, during this time the “Mona Lisa” did not leave the covers of newspapers and magazines around the world. Therefore, it is not surprising that the “Mona Lisa” was copied more often than all other paintings. Since then, the painting has become an object of worship, as a masterpiece of world classics.
The first notable copy of the Mona Lisa reproduction was created by the contemporary French artist Marcel Duchamp. He used the portrait image for his own works in 1919. Duchamp added hair on the woman’s face.
Mona Lisa has already experienced a lot: she was painted with wine, coffee and tea, laid out of garbage and food, built out of chocolate and lego. Politicians and musicians, cartoon characters and movies were portrayed in the image of the Mona Lisa. She turned into an American, a Chinese, an alien, and this is not a complete list of those incarnations in which she had to visit.
The mass reproduction of the painting made the Mona Lisa one of the most recognizable paintings of all time.
Definitely, Leonardo da Vinci’s creation “Mona Lisa” is the greatest achievement of the artist and a precious treasure of happy humanity.
Mona Lisa, as a living one, is able to evoke real and strong emotions in people. The wishes of its brilliant creator have come true.
Today, Mona Lisa can be admired in the Louvre. In the radiant silence, with a look and a mysterious smile, it seems that she devotes herself only to you.
The Louvre Museum preserves 6,000 paintings. Ninety percent of museum visitors rush straight to the Mona Lisa.