This world famous portrait of the Mona Lisa hangs proudly in the Louvre in Paris.
Painted by Leonardo da Vinci, the piece has an air of mystery – people are unsure as to the identity of the lady in the painting, the reason for its commission, who in fact commissioned the painting and why they were never given the completed piece. There’s also the classic ‘why is she smiling’.
Among all the conspiracies, it is actually thought that the lady in the painting was called Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a cloth merchant, and that the painting was commissioned the celebrate the birth of their son. And the reason for her smile? Well, if the painting was undertaken to celebrate the birth of her son, I’m sure that’s reason enough to smile. Or maybe she was marking the start of smiling in photos, as is customary these days?
The painting is currently held in the Louvre in Paris. We got a tiny bit lost trying to find the painting, due to the massive size of the Louvre, but we should have just followed the crowd. The Mona Lisa is behind a glass screen, with a wooden barrier around it so you can’t get too close. And the crowd is huge – I’ve never seen any other painting have such security or crowd. We had to wait for our turn to the front of the huddle to get a picture of this piece, which is way smaller than I’d imagined.
If you’re ever in Paris, I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Louvre, not just to see the Mona Lisa but all the other famous pieces housed there too.