Q:

Where did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa?

A:

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa was mostly painted in Florence, Italy, between 1503 and 1506. However, the landscape behind the subject is imaginary, probably based on regions in the Italian Montefeltro region.

Mona Lisa was Lisa Gherardini, the young wife of a merchant, Francesco Giocondo. Instead of turning it over to the merchant who commissioned it, da Vinci took it to France for unknown reasons. He never considered the painting to be finished, and art historian Carmen C. Bambach believes da Vinci continued making small changes and touch-ups to the work until about 1517.

In Italian, "giocondo" means "happy" or "joyous." The Mona Lisa is often called "La Gioconda" as a play on words involving Mona Lisa's married name and the famous smile of her painting.

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  • Q:

    Why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa?

    A:

    Leonardo da Vinci undertook the task of painting the Mona Lisa, an oil painting on canvas, as a commission from Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine silk merchant. The painting was to be a portrait of Giocondo's wife, Lisa del Giocondo, which the couple intended to hang in their new home to celebrate the birth of their new son, Andrea.

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  • Q:

    When was the "Mona Lisa" painted?

    A:

    It is estimated that Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in Florence, Italy during the years 1503 to 1506. It is further estimated that he continued to work on the piece until the year 1517.

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  • Q:

    Who painted the "Mona Lisa"?

    A:

    Leonardo da Vinci painted the "Mona Lisa" in the early 1500s. The model is believed to be Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. This masterpiece also is referred to as "La Gioconda," which is a play on her husband's name and the Italian word for "the jovial one."

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  • Q:

    How did Leonardo da Vinci become famous?

    A:

    Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, theorist, sculptor and artist who became famous for his works that included "Leda and the Swan," "The Last Supper," "Mona Lisa" and "Virgin of the Rocks." His achievements made him a leading figure in the Italian Renaissance.

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