Where is the Mona Lisa Painting Today?

            Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings of all time. Leonardo da Vinci made this painting. It is a picture of a woman with a mysterious smile. Many people have wondered what she was smiling at. The Mona Lisa hangs at the louver museum in Paris, that preserves some of the world’s rare art pieces and antiques.

Mona Lisa

            Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa between 1503 and 1506. Mona Lisa was the wife of a Florentine gentleman, Francesco Del Giaconda. That is why she is also called la Giaconda. Leonardo was 50 and she was 24 when the painting started. She used to come to the great master’s studio in the late afternoon when the light was soft. Leonardo worked hard on this painting for about four years.

            During the course of painting he became fascinated both with his model and the portrait. The portrait has retained an exclusive aura around itself.

            The face, enigmatic in expression, has tantalized millions over the years. The painting sees to be as alive as the beautiful woman. The misty landscape behind her acts as a mysterious backdrop. Leonardo da Vinci was himself charmed by it and never gave the portrait to Francesco. He always made the excuse that he had not quite finished it. He carried it with him wherever he went.

            While he painted her portrait, Leonardo used musicians, singers and jesters to keep her in a merry mood.

            In 1516, when Leonardo migrated to France from Italy, king Francsi gave him a beautiful palace in the Loire valley. It is believed that Francis I paid 4000 gold crowns for the Mona Lisa but could acquire it only after the artist’s death in 1519. Thereafter, it remained in the possession of the kings and emperors of France. In 1800, it was in the possession of napoleon Bonaparte and hung in his bedroom. Over the last 450 years, this portrait has gone out of France only twice. Once in 1911, the picture was stolen from the louver and found two years later in Italy.

            The second time, it went missing for 26 days, taken during a fantastically well guarded and highly insured visit to the United States of America as a guest of president, John F. Kennedy.