Leonardo da Vinci was born Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci in Anchiano Italy in 1452. He died in France in 1519, aged 67.
Da Vinci was a 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance artist, sculptor, inventor, architect, author, and engineer. The term Renaissance Man and Leonardo Da Vinci are synonymous. He is acknowledged as one of the most supremely gifted individuals in history.
Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is also known as La Gioconda. It is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini. Leonardo Vinci’s painting was completed between 1503 and 1519 while living in Florence. The Mona Lisa is a relatively small painting, measuring just 30 × 21”.
In 1911 the Mona Lisa made world headlines when it was stolen from The Louvre Museum in Paris. It was some two years before the painting was finally recovered. It was stolen by an Italian petty thief who had worked briefly at the Louvre. The thief claimed the painting rightfully belonged in Italy. Unfortunately, he only served a relatively short prison sentence.
In December 1913, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting was returned to the Louvre, where her enigmatic smile is viewed by an estimated 6 million people a year.
The Last Supper da Vinci is a mural painting at the end wall of the Convent of Milan’s Santa Maria delle Grazie. It tells the story of The Last Supper with the Twelve Apostles when Jesus said to them that he would be betrayed by one of them.
The Last Supper painting measures 180 x 350” and was completed around 1496. By 1978 the painting required substantial restoration. In 1999 a 21-year project was unveiled to the general public. The restoration was not without its critics, some of whom expressed their displeasure at the changes to the facial features and the arm of Christ.
In September 2017, Da Vinci’s painting of Jesus in Renaissance clothing, the Salvator Mundi, was sold for $450 million by Christie’s in New York. This was the highest price ever paid for a work of art.
Since the sale, The Salvator Mundi has also been hitting the headlines as its authenticity is probed and questioned. The painting is believed to have been purchased by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, it has yet to be publicly unveiled since the sale.
There is speculation about whether Salvator Mundi is entirely Leonardo da Vinci’s work. Maybe it was painted in significant part by Leonardo’s assistants. However, the fact remains that the face of Christ has all of the haunting and enigmatic hallmarks of the Mona Lisa.
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