LEONARDO DA VINCI'S LA GIOCONDA
started to work on this painting in 1503 when the Mona Lisa was twenty-four
year old. He worked at the portrait for the next four years. When Leonardo left
Florence in 1507 he did not sell the painting to the orderer but he kept it
for himself. Several believe that Leonardo did not hand over the painting because
he did not finish the work, others believe that Leonardo loved the painting
da Vinci arrived with the painting in his baggage in France in the year 1516.
Leonardo sold the painting in France to King Francis I., who bought it for the
castle in Amboise. In the following time Mona Lisa came to Fontainbleau, Paris,
Versailles and then to the collection of Ludwig XIV. After the revolution in
France the painting got a new home in the Louvre. Napoleon took it away from
there and hung it up in his bedroom. When Napoleon was banished Mona Lisa returned
into the great Louvre in Paris.
On 21 August 1911 Mona Lisa was stolen from an italian thief, who brought
the painting to Italy, where it emerged two years later in Florence. After
some exhibitions Mona Lisa returned again to Paris.
An acid attempt damaged the lower half of the painting in 1956. The restoration
took several years.
In the 60´s and 70´s Mona Lisa was exposed in New York, Tokyo
and Moscow. Today the painting is behind bullet-proof glass in Paris in the
Louvre and international terms are prohibiting any journey.
an era when left-handedness was considered the devil's work and lefties were
often forced to use their right hand, Leonardo was an unrepentant southpaw.
It has been suggested that this "difference" was an element of his
genius, since his detachment allowed him to see beyond the ordinary. He even
wrote backwards, and his writings are easily deciphered only with a mirror.