Things you may not know about the painting “Mona Lisa”
Her sly smile and endless charm have inspired academic studies and artistic emulation for more than five centuries. But the story of this bewildering portrait is even richer than it seems.
“Mona Lisa” is not her name
The subject in the painting is Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a rich and admirable gentleman – Francesco Del Giocondo. This explains the less popular title of this painting – La Gioconda. The name Mona Lisa (or Monna Lisa, as Italians call it) almost means “my Lisa”.
King Napoleon fell in love with “her”
The French emperor once hung the painting “Mona Lisa” in his bedroom, where he admired her beauty for hours. It is said that his passion for painting inspired his affection for an Italian girl named Teresa Guadagni, who is actually a descendant of Lisa Gherardini.
She’s actually “smaller” than you think
The Mona Lisa’s influence on the culture is huge, but this oil on wood canvas is only 30 x 21 inches and weighs 8kg (18 pounds).
Her eyebrows are controversial
Some people think that the subject’s lack of eyebrows is a representative image of high fashion at that time. Others insist that the lack of eyebrows is proof that the Mona Lisa is an unfinished masterpiece. But in 2007, detailed digital scans showed that Da Vinci had drawn the eyebrows and upper eyelashes. Both have faded over time or fell victim to years of painting restoration.
She has broken countless hearts
The portrait was first displayed at the Louvre in 1815, inspiring fans, as a string of boys carrying flowers, poems and passionate love letters, climb the bridge. Grand staircase of the Louvre Museum to see her “pure and burning” eyes.
“The Mona Lisa often makes men do strange things,” writes writer R. A. Scotti in The Disappearing Smile. There are over a million works of art in the Louvre, but only she gets her own mail. The painting actually has its own mailbox at the Louvre because of all the love letters she receives.
Painting is priceless
During the 1960s, the painting was taken on a gallery tour with an insurance valuation of $100 million. But the insurance policy never gets the picture out of the way because the premium is way higher than the cost of the most optimal security.
The painting is placed in the most beautiful prison in the world
“Mona Lisa” has her own room at the Louvre Museum, a temperature-controlled room to keep “her” in an ideal environment. In addition, the painting is covered with bulletproof glass to prevent accidents and damage.
The whole of France mourned when “Mona Lisa” disappeared
In 1911, the “Mona Lisa” was stolen from the Louvre Museum. The New York Times compared the reaction of the people to the grief of Britons when Princess Diana died in 1997. Thousands of people flocked to the Louvre to stare at the empty wall where “she” was hung and left flowers, notes and greetings.
Her smile doesn’t change, it’s your mindset
Whether or not the Mona Lisa smiles has fascinated artists and historians for a long time. But in 2000, Harvard University neuroscientist Dr. Margaret Livingstone applied a scientific method to explain why Mona Lisa’s smile seemed to change. It’s all about where your gaze is focused and how your brain reacts to it.
In conclusion, the painting known as the Mona Lisa is not just a beautiful and enigmatic work of art, but also a cultural icon that has captured the imagination of people all over the world for centuries. Despite its fame, there are still many fascinating facts and mysteries surrounding this masterpiece, from the identity of the subject to the techniques and secrets of its creation.
By delving deeper into the history and context of the painting, we can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of its significance in the world of art and culture. Whether you are an art lover, a history buff, or simply curious about this enduring masterpiece, the Mona Lisa continues to fascinate and inspire us with its timeless beauty and enduring mystery.