Interesting facts about Mona Lisa painting

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Wednesday, 23/03/2016 03:03

The Mona Lisa is probably one of the most well-known painted artworks in the world. This famous work of art was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. The Mona Lisa has become the best known as well as the most parodies artwork in the world. Her enigmatic face, her tricky smile, and her facial expression has become a source of debate for hundreds years. And the story behind this portrait is richer than it looks. So let’s find out interesting things and facts about the famous Mona Lisa painting. 

Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vince interesting facts

Mona Lisa and interesting facts

“MONA LISA” is not her name

The name of the woman in this portrait is not Mona Lisa. Her name is Lisa Gherardini. She came from a well-known family known through Tuscany and Florence. And this artwork was requested by her husband, Francesco Del Giocondo, a wealthy silk merchant. The name Mona Lisa (or Monna Lisa, as the Italians prefer) roughly translates to "My Lady Lisa".

Napoleon crushed hard on this painting, then Lisa’s descendent

The French emperor Napoleon once had Mona Lisa painting hanging in his bedroom, where he would revel in her beauty for untold hours. It is said that his fascination with the painting inspired his affection for a pretty Italian named Teresa Guadagni, who was actually a descendant of Lisa Gherardini.

She is smaller than you might think

Mona Lisa's influence in culture is massive, but the oil-on-wood panel painting measures just 30 by 21 inches and weighs 18 pounds.

She has no eyebrows

Mona Lisa has no eyebrows facts

Mona Lisa with no eyebrows?

In this artwork, Lisa has no eyebrows. And this has brought about a debate. While some claim this lack of eyebrows represented for a kind of high-class fashion at that time, others insist that this proves that this is an unfinished masterpiece. However, the ultra detailed digital scans in 2007 revealed that Leonardo da Vinci had painted on eyebrows and bolder eyelashes. Both had simply faded over time or had fallen victim to years of restoration work.

Mona Lisa masterpiece has broken a lot of hearts

Mona Lisa portrait went to public display in the Louvre in 1815, inspiring admiration, as a string of "suitors bearing flowers, poems and impassioned notes climbed the grand staircase of the Louvre to gaze into her ‘limpid and burning eyes.’"

"Mona Lisa often made men do strange things," R. A. Scotti wrote in Vanished Smile, "There were more than one million artworks in the Louvre collection; she alone received her own mail." The painting actually has its own mailbox at the Louvre because of all the love letters its subject receives.

Men have died from loving her

In 1852, an artist named Luc Maspero threw himself from the fourth floor of a Parisian hotel, leaving a suicide note that read: "For years I have grappled desperately with her smile. I prefer to die." Then in 1910, one enamored fan came before her solely to shoot himself as he looked upon her.

Mona Lisa used to be attacked

Mona Lisa interesting facts

If you look closely at the subject's left elbow, you might notice the damage caused by Ugo Ungaza Villegas, a Bolivian who chucked a rock at the portrait in 1956. A few months before, another art attacker pitched acid at the painting, fortunately it only hit the lower section. 

Mona Lisa painting is put in the world’s prettiest prison

Mona Lisa has her own room at the Louvre. This room keeps this artwork in the ideal climate and environment. Bulletproof glass is also encased to prevent it from threats.

This painting is literally pricesless

In the 1960s, the Mona Lisa went on a tour where it was given an insurance valuation of $100 million. However, the policy was never taken out since the premiums were more than the cost of the best security.

Pablo Picasso was suspected when Mona Lisa was stolen.

Pablo Picasso and Mona Lisa interesting facts

Pablo Picasso and Mona Lisa

Picasso used to be catch buying stolen Louvre pieces before, so he became the suspect when the painting was stolen. He was brought in for questioning. However, the true thief would not be caught until 1913.

Louvre employee Vincenzo Perugia was a proud Italian nationalist who smuggled the painting out under his smock because he felt it belonged to his and da Vinci's homeland, not France. After hiding it for two years, Perugia was busted trying to sell Mona Lisa to a Florence art dealer. However, he did briefly get his wish. Upon her recovery, Mona Lisa toured Italy before returning to Paris.

Mona Lisa and Louvre interesting facts

Mona Lisa in Louvre

Vincenzo Perugia might not be the only one in the theft of Mona Lisa

Though Vincenzo Perugia was the only one prosecuted for the crime, it's unlikely he acted alone. At the time of the theft, Mona Lisa was encased in a heavy wood backing and glass case that would have weighed almost 200 pounds, making it highly unlikely Perugia could have pulled her down from the wall on his own. So it is not likely to be a one-man job.

Vincenzo Perugia and thief of Mona Lisa facts

Whether Vincenzo Perugia acted alone in the theft of Mona Lisa painting?

Years later, a man who called himself Marquis of the Vale of Hell confessed to American reporter Karl Decker that he was the true mastermind behind the theft. His story be kept secret until his death, he revealed Perugia was one of three men paid considerably to snatch her. By this way, the Marquis could sell multiple forgeries of the masterpiece to collectors for exorbitant sums. The beauty of the scam was that each buyer believed that they owned the authentic missing masterpiece. His words are true or not still remained a controversy.

Her smile doesn’t change, your mindset does

What fascinated many historians and artists is that in this masterpiece, Lisa is smiling or not. People feel like her smile seems to shift in this painting. A scientific method applied by a Harvard neuroscientist, Dr. Margaret revealed that your focus and the way your brain responds are what matter.


Ryan Carter

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