Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519)
Mona Lisa,1503-1506
Oil on canvas, 77x53 cm
e du Louvre, Paris

In front of you is  probably the most famous artwork painted by the great Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

He was born in Vinci, a  village near the city of Florence, Italy, and his name means Leonardo from Vinci (family names were not used at that time).

The artist manifested a talent for drawing already in his childhood. He once painted on a wooden shield the head of the Gorgon Medusa, a monster in Greek mythology who has the face of a hideous human female with snakes in place of hair. The  painting was so good that his father decided to send him to study in the workshop of one of the leading artists of Florence.

This was the time of the Renaissance, the heyday of the arts and sciences. Artist’s apprentices studied sciences, sculpting, painting, and assisted their teacher.

Leonardo, as one of the best students, was once instructed by his teacher to draw the head of an angel. His drawing impressed the teacher so much that, acknowledging the superiority of his student, he never picked up a brush again.