The Mona Lisa

Good Essays
The title of the painting that is known in English as Mona Lisa stems from a description by Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari, who wrote "Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife."[5][6] Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as ma donna —similar to Ma’am, Madam, or my lady in English. This became madonna, and its contraction mona. The title of the painting, though traditionally spelled "Mona" (as used by Vasari[5]), is also commonly spelled in modern Italian as Monna Lisa, but this is rare in English.
Vasari's account of the Mona Lisa comes from his biography of Leonardo published in 1550, 31 years after the artist's death, and which has long been the best known source of information on the provenance of the work and identity of the sitter. Leonardo's assistant Salaì, at his death in 1525, owned a portrait which in his personal papers was named la Gioconda, a painting bequeathed to him by Leonardo. That Leonardo painted such a work, and its date, were confirmed in 2005 when a scholar at Heidelberg University discovered a marginal note in a 1477 printing of a volume written by the ancient Roman philosopher Cicero. The note is dated October 1503 and was written by Leonardo's contemporary Agostino Vespucci. This note likens Leonardo to renowned Greek painter Apelles, who is mentioned in the text, and states that Leonardo was at that time working on a painting of Lisa del Giocondo.[7]

A margin note by Agostino Vespucci (visible at right) discovered in a book at Heidelberg University, dating to 1503, states that Leonardo was working on a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo.
The sitter, Lisa del Giocondo,[8][9] was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany, and the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo.[10] The painting is thought to have been commissioned for their new home, and to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea.[11] The Italian name

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    The Mona Lisa

    • 1255 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The Mona Lisa, is it just a piece of artwork, or one of the best pieces of artwork in the history of art? The Mona Lisa was painted in the early 16th century by one of the most widely known artist at that time, Leonardo Da Vinci. It is said that the painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini the wife of Francesco Del Giocondo, but also could be portrayed as Da Vinci himself in female form. Researchers claim that Da Vinci used mathematical equations to create the painting such as, the golden triangle…

    • 1255 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 1460 Words
    • 6 Pages

    that most people would discard, it is quite an enigma as to why the world has been obsessed with the “Mona Lisa” for over 500 years. In “Ways of Seeing” John Berger, an art historian and novelist (only a tiny sample of the different ways I could title this Renaissance man), offers his readers a way into understanding the moment captured in paintings, especially mysterious paintings like the “Mona Lisa.” He suggests that viewers ask questions about and to the painting as way into entering into a sort…

    • 1460 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 576 Words
    • 3 Pages

    3/17/2013 Mona Lisa The Mona Lisa is an extremely sought after and recognized painting. It was painted by the famous Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci between the years of 1503-1506 from what historians believe. The painting standing only 30 inches by 21 inches is a portrait of a woman, on poplar panels done with oil acrylic. This piece created a lot of ground breaking techniques for the period in which it was painted for the art world. It was said that there was a possibility this piece was…

    • 576 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Mona Lisa

    • 1594 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The Mona Lisa The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci was painted in Florence between 1503 and 1505. The painting is of Monna Lisa, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, which is why the painting is also referred to as La Gioconda . Leonardo never actually gave the portrait to Francesco and instead kept it for himself. There have been many speculations of deeper meaning of the Mona Lisa. Some believe the painting is a female version of the artist himself, others believe the painting contains hidden images…

    • 1594 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 638 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Mona Lisa Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter, an architect and a man of many things. He was considered a genius with a lot of the things he put his mind to. As of today he is best known for his art, including two paintings Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo’s paintings were based on science and nature. It was said he spent many hours filling books full of his inventions and observations. Some people did not agree with his ideas and thought of them as outrageous, until later on where they realized…

    • 638 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    mona lisa

    • 772 Words
    • 3 Pages

    being an extraordinary genius. He was many things, writer, mathematician, inventor, and artist. Leonardo da Vinci was a leading artist and intellectual of the Italian Renaissance who 's known for his enduring works "The Last Supper" and "Mona Lisa.” The Mona Lisa is perhaps Leonardo Da Vinci 's most famous of paintings. It is an oil painting, painted on poplar wood. The painting is most famous for the smile of the woman, which people have been trying to decipher for a long time. Many believe that…

    • 772 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 353 Words
    • 2 Pages

    artsy kind of person. My major is history and I just never thought art as such a significant thing until now. The painting I find myself most interested in is the Mona Lisa. As it is probably the most valuable and most popular painting in today’s modern time, I find it very interesting that nobody really knows who the women is in the Mona Lisa and why paint it in the first place? I think the skeptics of the painting is what drives me to like it so much. I mean you have this painting of what is supposed…

    • 353 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Mona Lisa

    • 999 Words
    • 4 Pages

    a smile? This would seem to be the question that the artist who painted the “Mona Lisa” was trying to convey. The “Mona Lisa”, also referred to as the “Portrait of Lisa Gherardini”, was commissioned by an unknown person or persons around 1503 A.D. and painted by the highly revered artist Leonardo di ser Piero Da Vinci, known now as Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519). Da Vinci used poplar wood for the canvas of the “Mona Lisa” and created the subtle modeling of forms and atmospheric illusionism with various…

    • 999 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 1995 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Mona Lisa The Mona Lisa is 16th century oil painting created by the renowned Leonardo da Vinci. The work of art depicts an enigmatic woman gazing at the viewer, and it is said that if you move across the room while looking into her eyes, they’ll follow you. It is definitely one of the most popular paintings worldwide and has been the center of many artistic, religious, and theoretical debates. The French government currently owns the Mona Lisa and it is featured at the Musee du Louvre in Paris…

    • 1995 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Mona Lisa

    • 3394 Words
    • 14 Pages

    Mona Lisa, Finding the Key to the Mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa, a painting created by a legendary painter: Leonardo da Vinci, leaves various codes and secrets evident in the painting that adds to its mysteriousness. People today have an obsession to finding out the secrets to unlocking the vault of art history. There are many theories that possibly explain the secrets of the painting: Mona Lisa. These theories are formed by the art experts who are curious on why the Mona Lisa was…

    • 3394 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Best Essays