France’s Prized Possession: The Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa, also called La Gioconda was the wife of Francesco Del Giocondo. The world famous Leonardo Da Vinci painted the painting of hers on a piece of wood. In the original state, the Mona Lisa is 77x53cm and is officially owned by the French Government and is mounted on the wall in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. The talented Da Vinci envisioned the figure of a woman who is dressed in Florentine fashion of her day and is seated in a beautiful mountain landscape. Her expression is enigmatic and seems both aloof and perfectly alluring; this has given the portrait universal fame and immense attention. With his Mona Lisa, Da Vinci incepted a new formula to the world of art and at the same time more majestic and more exciting poetic significance to the painting. The painting alone is a timeless enigma; the soul is right there but not accessible. Here are some facts you may not know about the masterpiece:

Leonardo Da Vinci started working on this painting while staying in his origin which was Italy. He did not complete it until he moved to France because the king Francois I requested him to do so. The king actually displayed the painting in his palace where it stayed for a century. When the 19th century began, Napoleon Bonaparte hung the painting is his own boudoir.

It is indeed a painting but not a canvas because Da Vinci’s famous masterpieces are painted on a popular plank. Renaissance masters preferred to use wood as a base for their artworks.

The Mona Lisa has been granted her own room in the Louvre Museum in Paris. After they initiated a 4 year renovation which came up to $6.3 million the museum authorities decided to grant the painting a separate room with a glass ceiling which lets in tons of natural light, a shatterproof glass display which maintains a controlled temperature of 43 degrees (F) and a small spotlight which brings out the true colors.

The right eye of the Mona Lisa has the initials “L.V.” after some microscopic scrutiny the Italian National Committee Of Cultural Heritage announced the above fact in 2010.

When the painting was stolen, Pablo Picasso a world-renowned painter was under suspicion for the theft. Officials even briefly arrested poet Guillaume Apollinaire because he had once said that the painting should have been burned.

Not all the people who know about the Mona Lisa are fans. Vandals have indeed attempted to harm Da Vinci’s masterpiece. In 1956 one individual threw acid at the painting, and another pelted a rock at it. The damage is faint but noticeable. After the bulletproof glass was installed it repelled spray paint in 1974 and a coffee cup in 2009.

The Mona Lisa cannot be purchased or sold since she is genuinely priceless according to the French heritage law.