The Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci
The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci between the years of 1503 and 1519. He worked on it for a long period of time in the twilight years of his life. It is currently owned by the Government of France, and it is on public display in the Louvre in Paris.
An estimated 6 million people view the Mona Lisa each year. It is hung on a wall within a special climate-controlled enclosure, which is surrounded by bulletproof glass. The official name of the painting is "Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo". Although it is widely believed to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, there are many other theories. one such theory is that the painting is actually a feminized self-portrait of Da Vinci himself.
One of the most interesting things about the Mona Lisa is its tumultuous past. In 1911, it was stolen from the Louvre. The entire world thought that the painting was gone forever. It was finally recovered two years later. It has been a popular target for vandals ever since. In 1956, someone severely damaged the Mona Lisa by tossing acid on the bottom portion of it, and another man chipped some of the paint off when he threw a rock at it. In 1974, a woman tried to ruin it with a can of red spray paint. It was incidents like these that prompted the French Government to place it behind bulletproof glass.
The Mona Lisa is certainly one of the most intriguing paintings in the world. We can only hope that humanity can continue to appreciate it for many centuries to come.