Ten Interesting Facts about Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa


• The original name of the painting is Monna Lisa, it was a common Italian shortening of Madonna, meaning "my lady." But can you believe it, the most recognized name of this painting now is because of a spelling error(Mona Lisa).

• Most people know that Leonardo da Vinci is the artist, but many believe that the woman’s identity is unknown. Some even think that it’s him – Leonardo da Vinci himself in the female form. The most commonly believed theory is that the woman is Lisa Gherardini, born in 1479. She was 24 years old and the mother of two sons when she posed for the painting. Why he chose her is still a mystery.

• It took da Vinci almost four years to complete the painting. He began in early 1503 and finished in late 1506. That dates the painting at over 500 years old.

• The painting actually has a recent imperfection. In 1956, a man named Ugo Ungaza threw a rock at the painting, which resulted in a small patch of damaged paint next to her left elbow.

• The painting is considered priceless and cannot be insured.

• The unrivaled fame of this work is partially because it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in broad daylight by an employee in 1911. It was quickly recovered two years later.

• The painting resides in its own room in the Louvre Museum in Paris and is protected in a climate controlled environment and encased in bullet proof glass. The room was built especially for the painting and cost the museum over seven million dollars.

• Leonardo never signed or dated on the painting. The dimensions of the painting are 30″ high and 20 7/8″ in width. The “canvas” she is painted on is made from a wood called poplar. The type of paint he chose to use was oil based.

• There is a rumor that the reason she has no eyebrows in the painting is because during one of the first times they were trying to clean and restore the painting an error was made and the eyebrows were accidentally removed. Other thoughts are that Leonardo, who was the consummate perfectionist, never finished the painting, as most of his paintings were left unfinished.

• Recent extensive studies show that there are three different versions painted under the presently viewed version. One version has her hands clutching the arms of the chair instead of in front of her.

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