Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa 1503-16

Surprisingly little is known about this small panel painting, despite the fact that it is arguably the most famous painting in the world.

However, the sitter can be identified with some confidence as Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a prominent Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo (hence the painting is sometimes referred to as “La Gioconda”) who may have commissioned it to mark his setting up home and the birth of his son, Andrea.

The picture was begun in Florence around 1503-04, where it was seen by Raphael amongst others, but was probably not finished until much later – possibly as late as 1516, by which time Leonardo was working and living in France.

  • Medium Oil on wood panel
  • Size 77 x 53 cm
  • Location Musée du Louvre

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