Why 'Mona Lisa' is so Famous?

Mona Lisa, one of the most talked about, written about, searched about and most visited painting in the world. What makes it so famous? Well, definitely it is amongst the most beautiful paintings in the world, but is that enough to make it that famous?

Leonardo da Vinci

Let's go back to history to find out more about it. It is believed that the painting was completed in beginning of 15th century by the artist Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. In the year 1517, Leonardo da Vinci went to France at the King’s invitation and took the painting with him. Upon his death on May 2, 1519, in Amboise, France, the artist’s assistant SalaƬ inherited the work and sold it to France’s King Francis I for 4,000 gold coins.

Francis I King of France

It was kept it at the Palace at Fontainebleau, where it remained until King Louis XIV moved the painting to the Palace of Versailles. Following the French Revolution it was moved to the Louvre, the museum.

Vincenzo Perugia

In 1911, the painting from Louvre disappeared and the news of 'Mona Lisa' painting being stolen spread like a wildfire. The news was published in all major publications across the world and brought the museum into a bad light. Pablo Picasso was the prime suspect, but later it was found that one of the museum's employee, Vincenzo Perugia had stolen the painting. Vincenzo believed that since it is an Italian artwork, the painting should reside in Italy. The painting was recovered in 1913, two years later while he was trying to sell it for $10,000 to a gallery in Florence, Italy.

The painting was then brought back to France, The Louvre and since then it is protected by many cameras and it is behind 3 layers of bullet proof glass. In 1911, there were just 13 security guards in entire museum and now there are 1300. 

Many attempts have been made to bring the painting back to Italy, but the French Government officials claim it to be 'too fragile to be moved'.

The Mona Lisa

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