Mona Lisa (La Gionconda)

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La Gioconda a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci
(1503–06, perhaps continuing until c. 1517)
Mona Lisa
When you finally see La Gionconda in the Salle des Etats, nudge through the crowd with their cellphone raised, you might ask “What is the Big Deal”

Da Vinci’s started the painting when he was 51, it took him four years to complete and he may have carried it with him to Paris. He died in France when he was 67. (he may have worked on Lisa for over 10 years)

Francois I displayed the Mona Lisa at Fountainbleu
Louis XIV removed it to the grand Palace of Versailles
Napoleon hung the Mona Lisa in his bedroom
11 Years after the Galaries of the Louvre opened, the Mona Lisa was displayed in the Grand Gallery

In 1911 the Mona Lisa is stolen, and missing for two years
Before the theft, the Mona Lisa was not known outside the Art World

In 1959 the Mona Lisa was damaged in Tokyo when some one threw acid at the painting. Later that year some one threw a rock which dislodged a chip of paint

Bulletproof glass has shielded the painting in subsequent attacks which included red paint and a teacup

Currently, Mona Lisa occupies a wall in the Salle des Etats across the room from the largest painting at La Louvre, Wedding at Cana (Paolo Veronese)

The style and pose of this painting has been the inspiration for many artists:

Jean Metzinger, Le goûter (Tea Time) The Mona Lisa of Cubism (1911)

The Girl with the Pearl Earring (Vermeer)
The Dutch Mona Lisa

It’s Time to Take Down the Mona Lisa

We agree that sometimes it seems like this small painting is a disappointment, and overrated.
That the rush of museum-goers is a prime example of tourism. And that maybe they should remove the Mona Lisa to it’s own venue so as to not totally disrupt the traffic at the Louvre.

But we love the Mona Lisa at the Lourve. We always get there early and run up to see Lisa first thing
(like everyone else)

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