Real Worth of Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has become the most influential painting in the world and we might even say that she became the mother of all art. It gathered many rumors around itself and has made it’s way into other industries like music (“Ballad of Mona Lisa” by Panic at the Disco; “Mona Lisa” by Lil Wayne; “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” by Elton John; etc. ) and movies (“Mona Lisa Smile” ; and in “Fast and Furious 3: Tokio Drift” it was Han Seoul-Oh’s car; etc.) and even pizza places.

Let’s share some facts about Mona Lisa:

  • Insurance value of Mona Lisa is 880$ million to this date (2021).
  • Size of Mona Lisa: 77 x 53 cm (30 x 21 in) which makes it comparably rather small in real life.
  • The painting has it’s own room in Louvre, Paris.
  • Mona Lisa was a real person indeed: Lisa Gherandini, wife of a wealthy Francesco del Giocondo who commissioned the work in 1503.
  • Mona Lisa’s eyebrows is still a widely discussed topic. Most say that originally she indeed had them and they were “accidentally” removed later.If you are wondering how she looked like with brows, here is a goo attempt at it:
Mona Lisa with Eyebrows

  • There are also rumors that Mona Lisa is a Leonardo’s self-Portrait, but I guess will never find out for sure.
  • Sure there is also a big fuzz about whether Mona Lisa’s smile was in artifact of happiness or sadness. Indeed after a study conducted by University of Freiburg involving many different versions (with different smile variations) that were shown to people in color and black and white 97% of the people have claimed that the original Mona Lisa was indeed unequivocally happy :)

Fame and success

To talk about why is Mona Lisa so popular we have to admit that the incident of 1911 played a big role in painting’s recognition. Once upon a time in 1911 a cry in the chambers of Louvre went off: “The Mona Lisa is stolen”! It was Vinconzo Peruggla who successfully stole the painting and even had a hold of it for the next two consequent years until getting caught, because of contacting Mario Fratelly, the owner of an art gallery in Florence about it.

Vincenzo Peruggia

After it was returned to Louvre many people across the globe started coming to see it and like many tik-tok stasrs these days it became an overnight success.
Of course some of it was also a Leonardo’s achievement. His use of the “sfumato” technique (subtle gradations of light and shadow) that wasn’t really used at the time shows of his deep knowledge of bone and muscle structure (hence, it was before the autopsy was even allowed...em). That helped him along the way as well to paint her eyes so they seem to follow the person around the room and her smile that changes it’s appearance depending what side you look at it from.

Mona Lisa Brand

Sure it is not just a painting as it gradually became the most popular face in the world. It was copied countless times, also by Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. She changed countless looks (from unicorn and dinosaur to Mickey Mouse) and like the most popular girl in school was hated and praised in the same time.

It’s hard to say why something becomes popular, it’s just something in the human algorithm that drives us toward common idols. Was the work itself very important back in 1503? Probably not. Was it something really new and unique? Probably also not. So there will never be an easy answer on why is Mona Lisa famous.