Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), Mona Lisa or La Gioconda or Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, Oil on Panel, 77x53cm, The Louvre Museum, Paris.

Today 500 years ago, on May 2, 1519, Leonardo da Vinci dies in Amboise in France. He spent his last years in the service of his good friend Francis I, King of France. Already during his lifetime considered a super genius, and now thought to be one of the greatest artists and scientists of all time. Inventor, painter, drawer, engineer, writer, musician, botanist, historian; Leonardo is the epitome of the Uomo Universale. As painter he left us only around 15 paintings, but one of those is the most famous painting of all. Here is Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa”. The name is a contraction of Ma Donna Lisa, which means My Lady Lisa. It’s Lisa Gherardini who is portrayed here, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. And that gives the painting it’s other name “La Gioconda”, which translates as “The Joyful Lady”. Her mysterious smile attracts millions of visitors to the Louvre Museum in Paris, where it’s listed as acquired by Francis I and having entered the French royal collection in 1518.