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How did Mona Lisa become the most famous painting in the world? – #ArtQuestionOfTheWeek

As a Parisian, I have witnessed the craziness around the most famous painting in the World “Mona Lisa”. Every day 15 to 20 000 people come look at this painting at the Louvres. If you go there, be aware that you might not even be able to see it, first of all the painting is quite small and second of all there’s always an insane crowd of tourists surrounding the painting and trying to take failed selfies, and pictures of it they will never ever look again (but that’s another topic.) – so how did this painting become such an icon ?

 

  • Painted in 1503 by Leonardo Da Vinci, she was immediately considered as one of the most beautiful painting of its time. Da Vinci brought the painting with him to France when moving there and François 1er, King of France bought it. (which was already quite a good start into making it a legend).
  • It was then exposed at the Louvres in the 18th century and was presented as the most beautiful painting of the collection. The work of art represents the outcome of years of scientific research and painting technique of Da Vinci with the enigmatic side of the portrait fascinates billion of people, the smile seems to disappear when you look at it for a while and her eyes remain focus on you wherever you are in the room. Pretty cool, right? 🙂

     

  • The fame of the painting really exploded during the 20th century after an epic adventure: somehow a guy called Vincenzo Peruggia managed to steal the painting in 1911. Many people visited the museum at that time only to see the empty space and some, started a quest searching for it.
    At that time, people learn that Da Vinci only signed 3 paintings, one of them being Mona Lisa: which only raised the interest and legend around it. It was found in 1913 in Firenze and put back to the Louvres.

     

  • Many artists after this such as Marcel Duchamps, Ferand Legé, Fernando Botero, Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat will paint their own version of La Joconde which will once again participate to making it even more famous.

The Mona Lisa is since then a true icon in the pop culture and stands as a symbol of not only Da Vinci’s genius but also as an icon to represent Art as itself. So tell me, do you think the fame is deserved or is it too much?

Talk to you soon, 

Alice, Founder of SIGNED

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