The Mona Lisa is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that 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.” It is probably the most famous painting in existence and one of the most valuable paintings ever sold.
It was painted between 1503 and 1519 and is thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
The painting is currently on display at the Louvre in Paris and is one of the most valuable paintings in their collection, with insurance values in recent years between US$100 million and US$1 billion.
The title of the painting, which is known in English as the Mona Lisa, comes from a description by Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari, who wrote “Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife.”
The Mona Lisa has been the subject of a great deal of speculation and interpretation, with many theories about who the subject of the painting is, what Hidden messages are contained within the painting, and why Da Vinci included certain elements in the work.