Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Most Valuable Artwork: Mona Lisa

According to Guinness World Records, the Mona Lisa has the highest insurance value ever for a painting in history. In 1962, the painting was assessed at U$100 million. If inflation and surge in art prices are taken into account, the painting is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion in 2014, according to France 24.

Mona Lisa, a masterwork of Renaissance was painted by Leonardo da Vinci in early 16th century. It is described as the best known, most visited, most written about, most sung about, and most parodied work of art in the world, according to The Independant.

Leonardo is the most celebrated man during the Renaissance as an artist, engineer and inventor.

"Leonardo is ranked among the most influential artists in history. He lived in the boom of the Renaissance, a golden age of social and cultural change, a period in history characterized by an enthusiastic fervor towards intellectual pursuits and creativity," says Eliana Salvi, cultural officer of the Embassy of Italy in Kuala Lumpur.

She notes that Leonardo saw the entire world as the great machine of the world, as he call it, a work of art that is to be studied through curious eyes, and paintings as a way to understand and record what he saw, the physical world as well as the contained emotions.

The Mona Lisa painting shows a half length portrait of Lisa Gherardini, which was commissioned by her Italian husband. In Italian language, Mona means madam. It was bought by King Francis I of France which become the property of France. It is displayed at the Louvre, Paris since 1797.

Why the Painting is Valuable?

In 1911, the painting was stolen from the Louvre. The incident created headlines and copies of print out around the world. The copyright for the painting would have long expired. The painting was recovered in 1914. The Louvre then invested heavily in security to prevent such theft from happening again. There are many copies made but there is only one original copy painted by Leonardo.

To commemorate the 500th year of Leonardo da Vinci's death in 1519, a life size digital exhibition of seventeen paintings of Leonardo da Vinci will be held at the National Art Gallery from 15 July to 15 August. Admission is free. The traveling exhibition called 'Leonardo da Vinci: Opera Omnia', which means the incredible exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci is conceived by the Italian public television subsidary RaiCom with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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