Mona Lisa

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Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda or La Joconde) is a 16th-century portrait painted in oil on a poplar panel by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci during the Renaissance in Florence, Italy. The work is currently owned by the Government of France and is on display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris under the title Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo.[1]

The painting is a half-length portrait and depicts a seated woman (it is almost unanimous that she is Lisa del Giocondo) whose facial expression is frequently described as enigmatic.[2] The ambiguity of the subject's expression, the monumentality of the composition, and the subtle modeling of forms and atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of the work.[1] The image is so widely recognized, caricatured, and sought out by visitors to the Louvre that it is considered the most famous painting in the world.[3][4][5]

Contents

Background

Leonardo Da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 in Florence, Italy.[6] According to Da Vinci's contemporary, Giorgio Vasari, "...after he had lingered over it four years, left it unfinished...."[7] It is known that such behavior is common in most paintings of Leonardo who, later in his life, regretted "never having completed a single work".[8]

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