Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Location: Paris, France
Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058
Date: Oct 2007
The Mona Lisa is perhaps the best known painting in the world. It was painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the very early 1500's. The painting has been at the Louvre in Paris since the start of the 1800's. It has left the Louvre on several occasions. It was moved to protect it during wartime, it took a world tour in the early 1960's, and once it was stolen from the museum and missing for two whole years. After a few attempts at vandalism, the Mona Lisa now resides behind bulletproof glass in order to keep her safe. Since the value of the painting is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, this was a wise decision.
When we visited the Louvre, the Mona Lisa was one of the paintings we had on our must see list. Our first impression was that it was much smaller than we expected. Compared to some of the huge paintings in the gallery that cover entire walls, it looked like someone had printed her out on standard 8.5 by 11 paper. In reality it is a bit larger than that at about 30 inches tall by 21 inches wide.
The painting has been analyzed by many art critics over the years who discuss Da Vinci's choice of background, how the woman is seated, and of course the famous Mona Lisa smile. We enjoyed the privilege of seeing the most famous painting in the world. Since the Louvre is such an enormous place you can quickly find the Mona Lisa by going to the First Floor of the Denon Wing. In the centre of that wing look on the wall between rooms 7 and 6. You may not be able to see her at first until you make your way through the crowd.
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