5 Facts You Didn't Know About da Vinci's Mona Lisa
1. The famous 'Mona Lisa' spelling is a centuries old typo! It's actually 'Monna Lisa' - 'Monna' being a truncated version of 'Madonna', which means 'my lady' in Italian.
2. The Mona Lisa is the most culturally important painting of all time. People have sung and written about the Mona Lisa more than any other famous artwork in the world.
3. In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in broad daylight by museum worker Vincenzo Peruggia. It took over two years for the painting to make its way back to the museum after he was finally caught in Florence trying to sell it. The painting now hangs in a climate-controlled, bulletproof casing that cost over $7 million to build!
4. To this day, the identity of the Mona Lisa has yet to be confirmed. It is generally believed that she is the wife of a man who commissioned the painting. Her name was Lisa Gheradini Giocondo, who was born in 1479 and would have been 24 at the time. Although, some art historians believe that the Mona Lisa is actually the female image of Leonardo da Vinci himself!
5. With special technology, art historians discovered that the finished version of the Mona Lisa actually has three different versions painted underneath it. In one of these versions, Mona Lisa is clutching the arms of her chair instead of folding her hands in front of her.