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Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, is the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci that has been described as the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, and the most parodied work of art in the world.
See the fact file below for more information on the Mona Lisa or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Mona Lisa worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- This painting is painted as oil on wood. The original painting size is 77 x 53 cm (30 x 20 7/8 in) and is owned by the Government of France and is on the wall in the Louvre in Paris, France.
- It is one of the most valuable paintings in the world and it holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at US $100 million in 1962, equivalent to $650 million in 2018.
- It had been believed that Leonardo da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa between 1503 and 1506, and may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It was found in his studio when he died in 1519.
- King Francis I of France acquired the painting and it became a property of the French Republic in 1797.
- During World War II, the Mona Lisa, singled out as the most-endangered artwork in the Louvre, was evacuated to various locations in France’s countryside, returning to the museum in 1945 after peace had been declared.
- The Mona Lisa resembles Renaissance depictions of the Virgin Mary, who was seen as an ideal for womanhood during that period.
- The reserved posture of the woman, the three-quarter view, in which the sitter’s position mostly turns toward the viewer, became a standard pose in Italian art and became the convention for all portraits.
- This painting showcased Leonardo’s skillful handling of fine shading or sfumato, which created an ambiguous mood in the corners of the mouth, and the corners of the eyes.
- Mona Lisa was also one of the first portraits to depict the subject in front of an imaginary landscape. As seen in her background was a vast landscape of icy mountains.
- The overall harmony of the delicately painted veil, curves of the subject’s hair and clothing, and the subject’s faint smile, all worked to the painter’s idea of cosmic link connecting humanity and nature.
- Different speculations and debate run around the identity of the portrait’s sitter. Some scholars and historians agree that she is Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of the Florentine merchant Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo, hence its alternative title, La Gioconda. Others say that it was Leonardo’s mother Caterina, while others say that it was Leonardo’s self-portrait, due to the similarities between Leonardo’s and Mona Lisa’s facial features.
- Even Mona Lisa’s eyebrows and eyelashes were surrounded with issues. Some researchers claim that it was common at that time to pluck these hairs as they were considered unsightly. In 2007, Pascal Cotte declared that Mona Lisa was originally painted with eyelashes and visible eyebrows that disappeared over time, probably due to overcleaning.
- Cotte also discovered that the painting was reworked several times, where Mona Lisa’s size of face, hair, and direction of gaze were changed numerous times.
A THIEF MADE MONA LISA FAMOUS
- The theft of the Mona Lisa has been called the “art heist of the century,” but the caper itself was fairly rudimentary.
- His name was Peruggia and he kept the Mona Lisa hidden for two years while he waited for the heat to die down.
- Peruggia made an attempt to sell his “treasure” in December 1913, using the alias “Leonard”. He sent a letter to a Florentine art dealer named Alfredo Geri and informed him that he had stolen the Mona Lisa and wanted to repatriate it to Italy.
- After having the portrait authenticated, the art dealer reported the thief to the authorities. On the afternoon of December 11, 1913, police arrested Peruggia at his hotel.
- After a brief tour through Da Vinci’s homeland, the Mona Lisa was finally returned to the Louvre in January 1914. Peruggia, meanwhile, was charged with theft and put on trial in Italy.
- While Peruggia was eventually forgotten, his daring heist only made the Mona Lisa more famous.
- She was returned as public property and today, the world’s most recognizable painting remains in the Louvre, where it receives some 8 million visitors each year.
Mona Lisa Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Mona Lisa across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mona Lisa worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, who is the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci that has been described as the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, and the most parodied work of art in the world.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mona Lisa Facts
- Knowing Mona Lisa
- Tell Me the Story
- Scrambled Mona
- I Am Watching You
- Facing Controversies
- The Italian Renaissance
- Mona Lisa Acronym
- Hot Seat Interview
- Find Me
- What I Learned
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Link will appear as Mona Lisa Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 29, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.