The “Mona Lisa” or “La Gioconda” is one of the most famous and iconic portraits in the history of art, which has been acclaimed as "the best known”, “the most visited”, “the most written about”, “the most sung about”, “the most parodied” work of art in the world." Painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century, it entered the collections of the court of France to finally be part of the works on display in Louvre.
This portrait represents Lisa del Giocondo (born Gherardini), wife of Florentine merchant Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo and “Mona Lisa” is nicknamed “La Gioconda”. Painted between 1503 and 1506, it was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic.
It seems that the worldwide fame of this canvas is explained not by its artistic merit, but by the disputes and secrets that accompanied the picture, as well as by the special impact on men. At one time, Napoleon Bonaparte liked it so much that he moved it from the Louvre to the Tuileries Palace and hung it in his bedroom.
Italian, “ma donna” means “my lady”. Mona was thus a polite form of address, similar to Ma’am, Madam, or my lady in English tells Giorgio Vasari, a well-known historian of the 16th century, spoke with respect about the portrait of Lisa Gerardini. However, there is no certainty that it is Mona Lisa Gioconda that is depicted on the canvas. In the portrait that Vasari describes (although he himself had never seen it), the woman’s eyebrows “are thicker in some places” (Mona Lisa doesn’t have them) and “her mouth is a little open” (Mona Lisa smiles, but her mouth is closed).
It represents a fairly large range of possibilities for all sorts of alternative versions, amateur speculation and challenging the authorship of possible copies of the picture and other works by Leonardo da Vinci. Perhaps there is some truth in the fact that Mona Lisa is just a self-portrait of Leonardo in a woman's dress. Experts know that the painter really liked to write bisexual figures, which is why some critics saw the similarity between the proportions of the face in the picture and the self-portrait sketch of Leonardo da Vinci.
Theophile Gautier, who was engaged in compiling the Louvre Guidebook at the time, highly appreciated the picture and called it “a delightful Jokonda”: “A sensual smile always plays on the lips of this woman, as if she scoffs at her many admirers. Her serene face is confident that she will always be amazing and beautiful."
Leonardo's canvas really has very small sizes, namely 53 by 76 centimeters, and as a whole it looks quite dark. In truth, it is just dirty, because at the time, as on most reproductions, the original colors of the painting are “corrected”. But not a single restorer has dared to suggest “correct” the original.
If you manage to break through the crowds of visitors, as well as through a raid of glory, the mud of centuries and your own wrong expectations from the picture, you will eventually see a beautiful and unique painting creation.