The Monna Lisa, started by Leonardo da Vinci in Florence around 1503, entered the collections of François 1er on the death of the painter (1519), and was definitively incorporated into those of the Louvre Museum in 1870.
The work already enjoyed great esteem during the Renaissance and became, over the course of time, a universal icon. Her gaze and her mysterious smile are fascinating.
In 1882 Georges Sand wrote "(that) there are few figures as well-known as that of Mona Lisa del Giocondo and, strangely enough, few faces less fathomed. (...) At first glance, it is the amiable and peaceful creature that the painter has seen and loved. Over a period of time, it is fascination incarnate. It is no longer a person, but an obsession."
A source of inspiration for many, it is also the most copied and the most hijacked work. It has been sung by Barbara, simplified and abstracted by René Magritte, rounded by Fernando Botero, coloured by Andy Warhol, multiplied by Robert Rauschenberg, reinterpreted by Jasper Jones and Jean-Michel Basquiat, plunged into the heart of the Apocalypse by Keith Haring, armed by Banksy...
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