The Gioconda, or the mona Lisa

The Prado’s anonymous copy of the Gioconda was not fully appreciated for many years. It was recently restored, highlighting its lovely colours, the transparency of the headdress and mantle, and the beauty of the idealized landscape. Technical studies have proven that this is the oldest copy of the Gioconda, and that it was produced in the painter’s own workshop at the same time, and probably by one of his closest pupils. You can see the “sfumato”, or blurred outline, that was one of the hallmarks of Leonardo Da Vinci’s style, which set the standard for classic Renaissance portraiture. The woman’s beautiful hands and enigmatic smile have made her one of the world’s great artistic masterpieces.

The Prado Museum does not have any works by Leonardo da Vinci. He painted very few pictures in comparison to Raphael, of whose works the museum has a large number. Da Vinci was too busy with his machines and inventions. He worked in Italy, where his painted this picture. It is controversial, even as regards the sitter. She is assumed to be Mona Lisa, the wife of Francesco de Giocondo - hence her alternative name. The artist took this painting with him when, towards the end of his life, he accepted the hospitality of King Francis I of France, and he bequeathed the painting to the king, which is why, today, it is the most famous painting hanging in the Louvre Museum.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero
English translation (a) Thisbe Burns