The mysterious smile of a famous lady!
Her face is most familiar in the world. She receives thousands of visitors each day. Yet she doesn’t have a particularly beautiful face, nor does she wear fashionable clothes. She merely sits, very straight, her hands resting in front of her, and she stares out at her visitors, never saying a word. She is called Mona Lisa. Hers is the most famous portrait painting in the world, as well as the most valuable – estimated at $100,000,000!
Leonardo Da Vinci, her creator, lived from 1452 to 1519, and was a well known painter in Florence , Italy. One day Da Vinci was asked by Francesco del Giocondo to paint a portrait of his young wife. The couple was grieving over the recent death of their only baby daughter. Hoping to cheer up his wife, del Giocondo decided to have her portrait painted.
When the portrait was begun, Mona Lisa was 21 years old. By the times it was finished, she was age 30! Da Vinci worked on the painting for over nine years. During that time, he found peace and comfort when took up his brush to work on the painting. He hired musicians to play his favorite music while he worked. Even when it was finished, Da Vinci kept the painting with him, never turning it over to the couple who had commissioned it.
From its first showing, the Mona Lisa immediately became famous. There is a certain mystery to her. What is she thinking behind those softly shadowed eyes? Is that a smile on her face or a look of sadness? We don’t know for sure.
The Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre museum in Paris, France. It’s a small painting and has been copied by many artists. If you ever have the chance to visit the Mona Lisa, what will her mysterious expression say to you?
Take from: The Incredible Treasure of Amazing Knowlege (Book)