Leonardo Da Vinci and his Art of Mona Lisa
How it works
Leonardo Da Vinci started painting the Mona Lisa around 1503 and 1504 in Florence, Italy. Although some sources state that it was painted between 1503-09, a professor of the History of Art at University of Oxford, Martin Kemp, said there are a lot of difficulties to confirm the actual dates. But through his art, the life long work of the famous Italian Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, helps contribute the history through his paintings that gives us the understanding of why those paintings were created and what he has done to convey his idea in his work.
There are no exact dates of when Leonardo Da Vinci started but it gives us the whole story of history behind the art. Mona Lisa has been found in his work room when he died in 1519. It was known that Da Vinci has been working on it in many years by adding multiple layers of thin oil glazes in different time.
The painting was a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Even though we are not sure when was it painted, but Da Vinci may have continued working on it until 1516. Around the year of 1516, Da Vinci was invited by King Francois I to work for him near the castle in Amboise. In some sources, they believed he took the painting of Mona Lisa with him to continue to finish it after he moved to France to serve the king. According to Kemp, after Da Vinci’s death, the painting was inherited by others like his pupil and assistant. Some believed that Mona Lisa has been sold to the king by his assistant together with other paintings. According to Louvre Museum, they list the painting has entered the Royal collection in around 1518. Surrounding the dates of the painting, some experts have argued that there are two version of Mona Lisa. The first one would have been commissioned by Giocondo in 1503 or left unfinished by his assistant in 1525. And the second one would have been sold by the same assistant to the king and is the one in the Louvre Museum today. It was known to move from many different places from king to king. During the war of Franco-Prussian in 1870-1871, it was moved from the museum to Brest Arsenal.
Today, it is considered the most famous painting in the world. But back in the 20th century, it only was one of many regarded artworks. The painting wasn’t that famous until 1911, Mona Lisa was stolen by a theft and the news of the lost was reported worldwide. That was when it leading to a massive in public recognition of the painting. At that time, the painting was seen as an idea of womanhood. The woman sits upright on an armchair with her arms folded is a sign of reversed posture and looks straight forward. She doesn’t have visible eyebrows or eyelashes. Some researchers said that it was common for women to pluck their hair at this time. In a long period of time, people discovered that the painting has been reworked many times. It changed the face of Mona Lisa and her gaze. There are some other places in the painting when compare to the original, they are slightly different in colors and in some objects.
From 1962 to 1963, French lent it to the United States to display in New York City. It was also sent to other countries like Japan and Russia. We can not deny the work of Leonardo Da Vinci even when it was not famous or until it was recognized by the world. He is well-known for not only his famous painting of Mona Lisa, but also of his understanding about art helps him understand more about human body. What impress us is how he uses his understanding to change the way we used to think about our history. The work of the famous Italian artist, Leonardo Da Vinci, helps contribute the history through his paintings that gives us the understanding of why those paintings were created and what he has done to convey his idea in his work.