Although the origins of the "Mona Lisa" are shrouded in mystery, scholars believe that Leonardo da Vinci painted his most famous work after it was commissioned to him by Francesco del Giocondo, a silk merchant from Florence. The painting is an oil on canvas portrait of a woman who is believed to be the merchant's wife, Lisa Gherardini.
Da Vinci started painting the "Mona Lisa" in 1503 and took the canvas with him when he moved to France. He continued to work on it until 1517 and sold it to Francois I. The reason he did not sell it to the person who commissioned it remains a mystery. The "Mona Lisa" hangs in the Musee du Louvre museum in Paris as of 2014, and it is considered one of the most famous paintings in the world.