The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, viewed as “the best known, most visited, most written about, most sung about, and most parodied work of art in the world.” Its novel qualities include the subject’s enigmatic expression, the subtle modeling of forms, and atmospheric illusionism.
Identified to depict Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. He painted it in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. Leonardo never gave the painting to the Giocondo family, and later it is believed he left it in his will to his favored apprentice Salaì. Acquired by King Francis of France and is permanently displayed at the Louvre in Paris in 1797.