;Mona Lisa del Gioconda
The portrait full of mystery and secrets is painted on a 77x53 cm large poplar-wood. It is the most famous work of Leonardo da Vinci.

Originally the painting was larger than today, because two columns, one on the left the other one on the right side of Mona Lisa, have been cut. That is the reason why it is not easy to recognize that Mona Lisa is sitting on a terrace.

It is also mentionable that many details are not visible today, because they are partially damaged and some parts of Mona Lisa are painted over.

However the characteristic of the famous painting is still existing. The characteristic consists in the detailed background which disappears in the misty atmosphere (this is called "sfumato" technique), the perfect portrayed Mona Lisa and of course her hypnotically smile.It is supposed, that Francesco di Bartolommeo di Zanobi del Giocondo, one of the noblest citizen of Florence, ordered from Leonardo a portrait of his third wife Lisa di Antonio Maria di Noldo Gherardini.

Leonardo started to work at this painting in 1503. At this time Mona Lisa was twenty-four year old.

He worked at the portrait for the next four years. When Leonardo left Florence in 1507 he did not sell the painting to the orderer but he kept it for himself. Several believe, that Leonardo did not hand over the painting, because he did not finish the work, other believe that Leonardo loved the painting to much.

Leonardo da Vinci arrived with the painting in his baggage in France in the year 1516. Leonardo sold the painting in France to King Francis I., who bought it for the castle in Amboise. In the following time Mona Lisa came to Fontainbleau, Paris, Versailles and then to the collection of Ludwig XIV. After the revolution in France the painting got a new home in the Louvre. Napoleon took it away from there and hung it up in his bedroom. When Napoleon was banished Mona Lisa returned into the great Louvre in Paris.

On 21 August 1911 Mona Lisa was stolen from an italian thief, who brought the painting to Italy, where it emerged two years later in Florence. After some exhibitions Mona Lisa returned again to Paris.

An acid attempt damaged the lower half of the painting in 1956. The restoration took several years.

In the 60īs and 70īs Mona Lisa was exposed in New York, Tokyo and Moscow. Today the painting is behind bullet-proof glass in Paris in the Louvre and international terms are prohibiting any journey.

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