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How Long Did It Take To Paint The Mona Lisa (And Why)?

Exact Answer: About 4 Years

Mona Lisa is one of the most famous and the most renowned paintings in history. It was painted by a very renowned painter named, Leonardo da Vinci in the early 1500s. Almost every single person knows about the famous Mona Lisa painting. It is considered one of the greatest creations during the renaissance period. 

The painting is in form of oil paint, and it is believed that the painting has surprisingly survived for 500 years without using any conservation or preservation means. Though the original painting is preserved, there are multiple retouched paintings of the Mona Lisa painted by numerous painters.

It is believed that the Mona Lisa painting is of Lisa Geraldine. She was the wife of Francesco del Gioconda, the person who commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to portray her wife in a painting.

However, the painting was left unfinished and it is believed that Leonardo da Vinci never returned the painting back to Francesco del Gioconda. The reason behind that is still unknown.

How Long Did It Take To Paint Mona Lisa?

Timeline to Paint Mona LisaTime
Leonardo da Vinci began painting onOctober 1503
Leonardo da Vinci finished painting in1517

It is not much clear about the timeline of the painting of the Mona Lisa, when Leonardo da Vinci, the painter of the painting, started painting the masterpiece, named Mona Lisa, and how long it finished, by what it was finished, and other such things.

All the information that is available to us is provided by different scholars, histologists, biographers of Leonardo da Vinci and certain assumptions as well.

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There are uncountable estimations and beliefs regarding the specific time that when Leonardo da Vinci started painting the Mona Lisa. However, the most appropriate and the most precise time according to many scholars and histologists is that Leonardo da Vinci started painting the Mona Lisa in year1503, in the month of October.

It is then believed that Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa till 1513 or 1514. He then spent the next coulee of years refining the painting. By the time it was 1517, Leonardo had to give up on the painting and leave it unfinished. 

Though there is not much clarity about why Leonardo da Vinci Never completed the painting and left that painting unfinished. The reason behind that is believed that in 1517, the right hand of Leonardo da Vinci got paralyzed.

In other words, it can be said that the right hand of Leonardo da Vinci had a paralytic circa which made him incapable of painting any further. As a result, Leonardo da Vinci had to give up on the painting and leave the Mona Lisa painting unfinished.

Why Did It Take That Long To Paint Mona Lisa?

There are multiple sources and several timelines available for the Mona Lisa, however, no one knows which one of them is the most correct. We all tend to believe the timeline which is calculated to be the most precise one among all the timelines available. 

In Florence, it is believed that Leonardo da Vinci had started to work on the painting called Mona Lisa in in the year either 1503 or 1504. While on the other hand, Louvre believes and states that Leonardo da Vinci had started to work on the painting of the Mona Lisa somewhere in between 1503 and 1506. 

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Apart from these beliefs about when Leonardo da Vinci started working on the Mona Lisa, Alessandro Vezzosi states that the style of painting of the Mona Lisa is related to the style that Leonardo da Vinci had in the later years of his life. In a rough calculation, the later years of the life of Leonardo da Vinci can be said about past 1513. Therefore, according to him, Leonardo da Vinci started working on the Mona Lisa after 1513.

Conclusion

The Mona Lisa painting is known to be the most valuable painting among all the paintings in this world which portrays the beauty of the Italian renaissance period. In 1962, the value of the Mona Lisa painting was estimated to be about 100 million US dollars, which even broke the Guinness world record of being the costliest painting in the world. 

In 2021, the cost of the painting was estimated to be about 870 million US dollars. The painting still holds the Guinness world record. 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0042698904000562
  2. https://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/artdok/4207/1/Zoellner_Leonardos_portrait_of_Mona_Lisa_1993.pdf
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