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The Most Valuable Painting in the World

Mona Lisa Portrait Painting. photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

The perfect piece of art can capture a moment in time and immortalize it. A painting that is both beautiful and reflective of who we are. A painting can tell you a lot about the time period it was created in. A painting from the Impressionism movement, for instance, will have that distinct blurriness and an ethereal quality to it. On the other hand, a painting from the Renaissance era will be more realistic, with clear lines and a lot of detail.

The Most Expensive Paintings in the World

There is no question about it, the Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) is the most famous painting in the world. The Mona Lisa, painted by Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci, is undoubtedly priceless. The Mona Lisa portrait artwork is well renowned for a woman’s enigmatic smile. The Mona Lisa holds the world record for the highest known insurance valuation in history, and her estimated insured value was $100 million in 1962 (equivalent to $868 million in the year 2021).

People waiting in line to see the Mona Lisa at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. photo source: metmuseum.org
Crowd around Mona Lisa in Louvre. photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

Did You Know?

  • In 1878, the Baedeker travel guide in Europe described the Mona Lisa painting as “the most celebrated piece of Leonardo in the Louvre.”
  • The painting collection in the Louvre Museum has more than 7,500 works and is best known for being the home of the Mona Lisa display at the Louvre, Paris since 1797.
  • The actual total of all the art at the Louvre museum is around 480,000, of which Mona Lisa is the only one to have her own mailbox, to fit all the love notes she receives on a daily basis.
  • Over one million people had lined up outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, each of them hopeful of briefly seeing the Mona Lisa, which was on display in the museum between February and March of 1963.
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting is distinguished by his sfumato technique, which employs glazes to create a ‘smoky’ look with delicate contours and contrasts. Leonardo nailed the sitter’s natural turn toward the viewer, which breathes life into the work.
  • The Louvre’s Mona Lisa was stolen on August 21, 1911. The Louvre was closed for a week to conduct an investigation. Vincenzo Peruggia, a Louvre employee, was the true culprit. The painting was returned to the Louvre on January 4, 1914.
  • The Mona Lisa was not painted on canvas, but rather on a panel of poplar wood that has twisted and cracked over time. The Mona Lisa is kept in a temperature and humidity-controlled glass display to ensure its preservation. It is on display in the Salle des Etats, the Louvre’s largest room.
  • The Mona Lisa is the most popular work of art in the museum. Around 9.6 million people visited the Louvre in 2019, with around 80% of them coming to see the Mona Lisa.
  • The Mona Lisa is the most Instagrammed painting in the world, with 1,787,366 hashtagged photos.

Sources:Wikipedia, Wikipedia, WikipediaLouvre, The Art Newspaper, Guinness World Records, Creative Boom

Written by James

A BSc in Computer Science graduate with a strong interest in encyclopedia facts. I'm a passionate content writer with 10+ years' experience and enjoys creating useful content that can help others.

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