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The Mona Lisa is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. 

Possibly the most visited painting in the world. Over 8 Million people per year come to the Louvre and many of them just to see Mona. In all of Leonardo's 13,000-plus pages of notes, there is no mention of this painting and there are no preliminary sketches of it.


It was stolen in 1911, and Pablo Picasso was one of the accused thieves. The real thief was a museum employee.


It has been vandalized on several occasions with acid, rocks, and paint, which is why it now hangs behind bulletproof glass.


Parts of the painting are missing from each side where two pillars once stood.


Napoleon Bonaparte once had the Mona Lisa hanging in his bedroom.


Leonardo never gave a name to the painting, so it goes by different names in different countries.  We call it the Mona Lisa, but the French call it La Joconde. There are many theories of who or what the painting is of. One theory holds that Mona Lisa is a self-portrait of Leonardo in drag. Nat King Cole based his 1950 #1 hit on this painting, and many other artists including Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, and Andy Warhol have produced artworks based on it.


Strangely enough, Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.


Sr. Editor

According to everyone the Mona Lisa is overrated. I like it.

It's smaller than you think, coming in at 30 inches × 21 inches.

Art historians everywhere will be happy as clams as soon as Hollywood realizes that the Mona Lisa is painted on wood rather than canvas. Movie fact-checkers who did no research: Equilibrium (2002), Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998), and special shout-out to the British TV show Doctor Who.

In Equilibrium, Christian Bale runs around destroying 'emotionally stimulating material,' essentially anything pretty or interesting, including our Mona Lisa. In Ever After, starring Drew Barrymore as Cinderella, the charming Prince saves the painting, rolled up safely in a tube, from a gang of bandits. Mona Lisa also appears on at least four different occasions in the BBC’s cult-classic Doctor Who and its spin-offs.

Before the Nazis took over Paris, Louvre employees packed away its precious treasures. The Mona Lisa, being the diva that she is, was sealed with a curator/chaperone in an airtight ambulance to be hidden away in Chauvigny, France. Apparently the ambulance was so well sealed that the curator was unconscious upon arrival. The painting was fine. The Nazis were sent on a wild goose chase and pursued as many as five different leads/copies of the Mona Lisa. The real painting and its copies were moved around until either the copy or the real thing was finally discovered by Allied Monuments Men in the Altaussee salt mines in Austria.

The Louvre has been rather coy about what really happened during the war. These official/unofficial copies have lead conspiracy theorists to believe that the real Mona Lisa is not always on display at the Louvre and that they are regularly rotated so the diva isn't overworked.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa (/ˌmnə ˈlsə/ MOH-nə LEE-sə; Italian: Gioconda [dʒoˈkonda] or Monna Lisa [ˈmɔnna ˈliːza]; French: Joconde [ʒɔkɔ̃d]) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world". The painting's novel qualities include the subject's enigmatic expression, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modelling of forms, and the atmospheric illusionism.

The painting has been definitively identified to depict Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It is painted in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. Leonardo never gave the painting to the Giocondo family, and later it is believed he left it in his will to his favored apprentice Salaì. It had been believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506; however, Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic. It has been on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris since 1797.

The painting's global fame and popularity stem from its 1911 theft by Vincenzo Peruggia, who attributed his actions to Italian patriotism – a belief that the painting should belong to Italy. The theft and subsequent recovery in 1914 generated unprecedented publicity for an art theft, and led to the publication of numerous cultural depictions such as the 1915 opera Mona Lisa, two early 1930s films about the theft (The Theft of the Mona Lisa and Arsène Lupin) and the popular song Mona Lisa recorded by Nat King Cole – one of the most successful songs of the 1950s.

The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest-known painting insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962 (equivalent to $870 million in 2021).

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Mona Lisa

Comments (1)


I have always liked the Mona Lisa because she has that look on her face like she is a girl that is looking for trouble.