By Lewis Findley on Jan 31, 2019 11:49:08 AM
How much is The Mona Lisa Worth?
The Mona Lisa (La Joconde in French) is a portrait by Italian High Renaissance artist, Leonardo Da Vinci. It's arguably the most famous painting in the world and attracts 6 million annual visits.
People from all over the world make the pilgrimage to her climate-controlled and bulletproof room in The Louvre Museum, Paris.
Did you know that The Mona Lisa cannot be bought or sold? It belongs to the French people and there's even a law which prohibits it.
There is a saying though that 'Everything has a price’ but does it? Well, there was an insurance valuation given in the '60s.
Mona Lisa's Record Valuation
In 1962, The Mona Lisa received a valuation of $100m. If you account for inflation, she's worth over $834m in today's money.
This is almost double the $450m paid for the Salvator Mundi in November 2017. It scored top spot in our article 5 Most Expensive Artworks Ever Sold.
The $100m price tag at the time was extraordinary though. Not only because they were able to reach that figure but it doesn’t even consider its greatest features!
Let’s take a closer look at Lisa Gherardini, I mean The Mona Lisa or 'La Joconde' if you want to get your French game on.
A Brief History of The Mona Lisa
- The subject for The Mona Lisa is of someone else! Francesco Del Giocondo commissioned a portrait of his wife, Lisa Gherardini.
- The reason why the $100m policy wasn’t taken out was due to the premiums costing more than the best security money could buy.
- In 1911, Vincenzo Perugia caused a mass panic after successfully smuggling The Mona Lisa out of the Louvre! He hid the painting for 2 years before he was caught trying to sell the painting to a gallery in Italy. A patriot at heart, the former Louvre employee believed the painting belonged in Italy.
- A $7m fortress was constructed to house the famous Mona Lisa. Boasting climate control and bulletproof glass, it's successfully foiled many attempts of disfigurations.
- Painted during the High Renaissance, it's one of the art period's most iconic works. But, what was the High Renaissance? Check out our guide: Art History - The High Renaissance.
What Makes The Mona Lisa Priceless?
Leonardo Da Vinci started the painting in 1503. It’s said that he was still adjusting it until 1507!
You can read further about the High Renaissance polymath here: Artist Spotlight - Leonardo Da Vinci.
Being an oil painting, you can instantly see its rich and vivid nature. This has sparked numerous arguments over time as the expression of La Joconde is still debated.
Is she upset? Angry? Frustrated? It would probably help if she had eyebrows! Or eyelashes for the matter.
One thing is for certain, La Joconde will never change but our arguments probably will.
Oil painting has been around since the 5th century and is still a popular medium. Did you know these paintings were oil based?
- Whistler’s Mother - James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
- The Starry Night - Vincent van Gogh.
- The Water Lily Pond – Claude Monet.
If you enjoyed this article then take a look at our exploration of the oil painting medium which forms part of our art series.
Check out other stories in the journal.