The Mona Lisa painting is considered a masterpiece in the world of art. Artists have always been fascinated by it. Kids who love art and show interest in paintings must know about the Mona Lisa. We have gathered a complete set of Mona Lisa Facts for Kids which will help them in learning all about the Mona Lisa and why it is such an important piece of art. These facts will give an overall overview of the painting and after reading it you will be able to have a complete idea about the Mona Lisa.
Mona Lisa Facts For Kids
1. What is Mona Lisa?
- Mona Lisa is the most famous and most valuable painting in the world.
- It is a portrait painting of a woman that is half in length.
- It is the most visited painting in the world.
- It has been recognized as the painting that has widely been not only written about but also sung in many songs. Furthermore, it is the most imitated artwork in the world.
2. What is the Mona Lisa about?
- Mona Lisa is about a usual portrait painting of its time that over time has become the masterpiece of the art of the Renaissance period. Now it is without any doubt the most recognized painting in the world.
- It is a portrait of the wife of a rich Merchant who lived in Florence, Italy.
- The rich merchants of Florence liked to have painted a portrait of themselves once in a lifetime during the Renaissance period.
- A portrait painting was a sign of position and status in society.
- Such portraits took a very long time and the person whose portrait was to be painted was required to sit for hours or days before an artist.
3. Who Painted the Mona Lisa?
- Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
- His full name was Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci and was known as Leonardo da Vinci or Leonardo.
- He was a person of wide knowledge and learning who lived during the Italian Renaissance.
- He was among the greatest painters of his time.
- His areas of interest and expertise included invention, painting, science, sculpting, music, architecture, botany, geology, cartography, writing, anatomy, history, engineering, literature, astronomy, and mathematics.
4. Why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa?
- Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned by Francesco del Giocondo to paint an oil painting
- Francesco del Giocondo was a rich silk merchant of Florence.
- Francesco del Giocondo wanted the painting to be a portrait of his wife that was intended to be hanged in their new home.
5. Who was Mona Lisa? – Who was the lady who posed for the Mona Lisa?
- Giorgio Vasari (an artist biographer) in 1550 suggested that Mona Lisa was the wife of a rich silk merchant named Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo who lived in Florence, Italy.
- The real name of Mona Lisa was Lisa del Giocondo and was also known as Lisa Gherardini, Lisa di Antonio Maria Gherardini.
- She belonged to the Gherardini family who lived in Florence and Tuscany in Italy.
6. What is the meaning of the Mona Lisa?
- Mona Lisa is an English title that has been derived from the Italian word “Mona” which is a short form of the phrase “ma doona“.
- Mona or Ma doona means “My Lady”.
- Another name for the Mona Lisa in Italian is La Gioconda and in French is La Joconde which means happy or jovial.
7. What does the painting of the Mona Lisa represent?
- The painting of the Mona Lisa visually represents the idea of happiness.
- This idea of happiness is defined by one word “Gioconda” in Italian.
8. When was the Mona Lisa painted? – How old is the Mona Lisa painting?
- The Mona Lisa was painted sometime between 1503 and 1519.
- During this period, Leonardo da Vinci was living in Florence, Italy.
- The Mona Lisa painting is around 500 years old
9. Where was the Mona Lisa painted?
- Mona Lisa was painted in Florence, Italy.
- Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region of Italy.
- It is well known for its extraordinary masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.
10. How long did it take to paint Mona Lisa?
- Historians suggest that it took approximately four years to paint Mona Lisa. It is believed that Leonardo started painting Mona Lisa in 1503, kept working on it for the next four years, and also kept it with himself for some years later on.
11. Description of Mona Lisa
- It is an oil painting painted on a poplar wooden panel.
- It shows an amazing mix of both the subject and the landscape behind it.
- It presents a half-body portrait of a woman with a distant landscape as its background.
- The woman is sitting upright and sideways in a chair. Her face and body are slightly turned towards the viewer.
- The left arm of the woman is on the chair’s armrest and is grasped by her right hand.
- The position of the arms and the armrest helps in creating a sense of distance between the woman and the viewer.
- The use of fine shading in the curves of a woman’s hair and clothing reflects its continuity in rivers and valleys in the background.
- The portrait is a perfect example of harmony that is visible in the woman’s smile and its connectivity with nature behind her.
12. What are the techniques used in the Mona Lisa?
- The technique used in painting Mona Lisa is called Sfumato.
- According to Leonardo da Vinci Sfumato is blending colors without the use of borders and lines just like smoke.
- This technique creates a soft transition between different tones and colors to make the image more real.
13. Why did the Mona Lisa not have eyebrows?
- In the year 2007, a French engineer named Pascal Cotte analyzed the painting using ultra-high-resolution scans which showed that Mona Lisa was painted with eyebrows and eyelashes.
- However, the eyebrows and eyelashes disappeared over time due to over-cleaning.
14. Mona Lisa Smile – What does the smile on the Mona Lisa mean?
- People have been seeing the Mona Lisa painting for about 500 years now and all have been baffled by the smile. It seems that Mona Lisa is smiling and then after some time it seems that the smile has faded away.
- In Italy, the word sfumato is used for such a smile which means ambiguous and left to the imagination of the viewer.
15. What is Mona Lisa wearing in the painting? – Mona Lisa Clothing
- Mona Lisa is wearing clothes made of dark silk that has been gathered around her neck.
- The sleeves are loose and rolled up to the elbow.
- The color of the sleeves is different from the rest of the clothing and they are tied down to the shoulder.
- The portion of clothing around the neck has been trimmed with gold embroidery.
- A fine black silk veil can also be observed at the back of her head.
16. Why is the Mona Lisa famous?
- Mona Lisa is famous because it was the first painting that used the 1 point perspective i.e. the use of background and it became the standard for all future portrait paintings.
- Furthermore, the unusual smile, timeless eyes, and how the woman looks both young and old at the same time, make the painting one of a kind.
- Another reason that caused its fame was its theft by an artist. And when it was recovered it was displayed all over France.
17. When did the Mona Lisa become famous?
- Though painted in the 1500s, it was not until the 1860s that it caught the attention of the art critics, who began to regard it as an icon of the Renaissance period.
- However, the Painting become famous outside the art world when it was stolen from the Louvre Museum on August 21st, 1911. It created a media sensation and the theft was reported in the media all over the world.
18. When was the Mona Lisa stolen?
- Mona Lisa was stolen on August 21st, 1911 by Vincenzo Peruggi.
- He hired three Italian handymen to steal the painting for him. They hid in the Louvre storeroom overnight to steal the painting in the morning. They ripped the painting from its frame.
- Vincenzo Peruggi wanted to sell the painting on the black market but Louvre announced the theft and the theft became a media sensation.
- The theft was reported all over the globe and posters were posted all around Paris.
- Vincenzo Perugi was unable to sell the painting as it was now more famous than before, so he kept it for two years.
- In 1913 he tried to sell it to an art dealer in Florence, who reported him to the police.
- Vincenzo Peruggi was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison.
19. How big is the Mona Lisa? – Mona Lisa Painting Size
- The size of the Mona Lisa is 77 cm x 53 cm i.e. 30 in × 21 in.
20. Who owns the Mona Lisa?
- Mona Lisa is owned by the French government and is put on display at Louvre Museum.
21. Where is the Mona Lisa now
- Mona Lisa is set on display for the public in the Louvre Museum right now.
- Louvre was a royal palace which at the end of the 18th century, was converted into a public museum.
- The museum displays about 35,000 objects and Mona Lisa is the most famous object.
22. How did the French get the Mona Lisa? – Why is the Mona Lisa in France?
- Leonardo da Vinci started painting Mona Lisa in 1503 and completed most of it by 1507.
- As it took too much time and still was not complete so the painting was not delivered to the Del Giocondo family.
- Mona Lisa was Leonardo’s favorite painting and he continued working on it from time to time.
- Leonardo went to France in 1517 when the King invited him. He took the Mona Lisa with him and continued working on it.
- After the death of Leonardo in France on May 2, 1519, the painting was inherited by his assistant.
- Leonardo’s assistant sold the painting for 4000 gold coins to the King of France “Francis I”.
- It was kept at a palace in Fontainebleau until it was shifted to the Palace of Versailles by King Louis XIV.
- After the French Revolution, the painting was shifted to its present-day place i.e. Louvre.
- The painting is now too fragile to move to any other place so this is how the French got the Mona Lisa.
23. Where has the Mona Lisa been displayed?
Besides Louvre Museum, Mona Lisa has been displayed in the following places:
- It was displayed at Uffizi and various museums in Italy in December 1913 after its recovery from theft.
- In 1963, it was displayed in the United States of America for seven weeks at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
- During 1974 it was displayed at Tokyo National Museum, Japan, and at Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia.
24. Mona Lisa Painting Price – What is the value of the Mona Lisa?
- According to the Guinness World Records, Mona Lisa has the highest insurance value of any other painting in history.
- The worth of the Mona Lisa was assessed to be US$100 million on December 14, 1962, which must be equal to around US$790 million in 2016 taking account of inflation.
25. How many people have seen the Mona Lisa?
- Every year over 6 million people visit the Louvre Museum to see the Mona Lisa.