The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci.
It has over the time become an icon of the Renaissance—perhaps the most recognized painting in the world. The Mona Lisa is a likely a portrait of the wife of a Florentine merchant. For some reason however, the portrait was never delivered to its patron, and Leonardo kept it with him when he went to work for Francis I, the King of France.
The Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile has inspired many writers, singers, and painters. Here’s a passage about the Mona Lisa, written by the Victorian-era writer Walter Pater:
We all know the face and hands of the figure, set in its marble chair, in that circle of fantastic rocks, as in some faint light under sea. Perhaps of all ancient pictures time has chilled it least. The presence that thus rose so strangely beside the waters, is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years men had come to desire. Hers is the head upon which all “the ends of the world are come,” and the eyelids are a little weary. It is a beauty wrought out from within upon the flesh, the deposit, little cell by cell, of strange thoughts and fantastic reveries and exquisite passions. Set it for a moment beside one of those white Greek goddesses or beautiful women of antiquity, and how would they be troubled by this beauty, into which the soul with all its maladies has passed!
The Mona Lisa portrait holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at $100 million in 1962,which is worth nearly $800 million in 2017
Source- artnet, Wikipedia