Who was Mona Lisa?

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci, the creator of the Mona Lisa  was one of the most influential painters of the Italian Renaissance . He became a true master of his craftsmanship  by looking closely at nature and the subjects of his paintings. He recognized that one way to paint realistically is to observe everything with great care. He took long walks in the nature and turned his attention to every little detail. He often took notes on his observations and made detailed sketches of the things he saw in his notebooks.

There are several different theories that have been considered about who could be the mysterious woman on the painting. The woman figure on the painting is dressed in the Florentine  fashion of her day and seated in a visionary landscape. She has an enigmatic expression on her face that gives the artwork a heavenly mystery. Some sources claim that the painting depicts a young Florentine woman whose husband, Francesco  del Giacondo commissioned the portrait of his wife. To please Goacondo, Da Vinci used the sfumato techniques  to achieve the perfect beauty of a woman. Hence, the Mona Lisa later became the symbol of the perfect female creature.

Another speculation of the painting is that Mona Lisa is Da Vinci himself. Look at the two artworks lined up next to each other. The left side is the painting of Mona Lisa and the right side is a self portrait of Da Vinci. The details  of the painting line up perfectly, even the features of the two faces are similar. The relative locations of the nose, mouth, chin, eyes, and forehead precisely  match the other.  Many scholars believe that da Vinci was painting his soul while creating the Mona Lisa. Hence are the mysterious smile and the heavenly landscape in the background.

Mona Lisa prints by Andy Warhol

Even though there are no definite  answers on who she is, the Mona Lisa has acquired and iconic status in the world as well as in the popular culture. There are several songs and books have been written about this heavenly woman of the painting. In 1963, an American pop artist called Andy Warhol  started to make colorful serigraph prints  of the Mona Lisa. Warhol thus consecrated her as a modern icon, similar to Marilyn Monroe .

Today the Mona Lisa is frequently reproduced in the art world, as well as in everyday life finding its way on modern posters, mouse pads, mugs or even carpets. Her name is known and respected all around the word.

Poplar panel

A few fun facts about the Mona Lisa you should known:

  • The original name of the painting was Monna Lisa. Monna is common Italian is the shortening of Madonna, meaning “my lady”.
  •  It is rumored about the painting that the reason she has no eyebrows is a result of an accidental cleaning process by a restoration.
  • The Mona Lisa is valued as a priceless item and it is not insured.
  • The Mona Lisa is painted on poplar panel not canvas.

Mona Lisa at the Louvre
  • The unrivaled  fame of this work is partially because it was stolen from the Louvre Museum  in Paris by an employee in broad daylight in 1911. Fortunately it was found and returned two years later. Today, the painting has its own room in the Louvre that is climate controlled and the painting is behind in a bullet proof glass. The room was built especially for the painting and cost the museum over seven million dollars.
  •  Approximately over 6 million people from all around the world visit the Mona Lisa in the Louvre each year.



What is YOUR theory about the identity of

Mona Lisa?