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Arts/Culture
Nov 6, 2021

‘Mona Lisa’ copy painting to go under hammer in Paris auction

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Mona Lisa painting. Pinterest image
Mona Lisa painting. Pinterest image

A faithful copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa dating from more than 400 years ago will go under the hammer at a Paris auction on Tuesday- November 9, months after another reproduction of one of the world’s most recognisable portraits sold for a record price.

The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world”

Leonardo’s original, which French King Francois I bought from the painter in 1518, can be found in Paris’ Louvre museum and is not for sale.

Unlike other paintings of the 16th century, the Mona Lisa is a very realistic portrait of a real person. Scholars have attributed this sort of accomplishment due to the artist’s brush and colour blending skills. Mona Lisa’s softly sculpted face shows how innovative da Vinci was in regards to exploring new techniques

But the copy that is on sale, dating from around 1600, is so similar to the original that it is likely that the artist had close access to Leonardo’s version, the Artcurial auction house said.

It estimates the copy will fetch 150,000-200,000 euros (US $173,000-$230,000).

Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, is the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It is a visual representation of the idea of happiness suggested by the word “gioconda” in Italian. Leonardo made this notion of happiness the central motif of the portrait: it is this notion that makes the work such an ideal.

“Mona Lisa is the most beautiful woman in painting,” Artcurial’ auction house expert and auctioneer, Matthieu Fournier, said as the painting went on public display ahead of the sale. “Everyone wants to own a high-quality version of Mona Lisa.”

Leonardo, he stressed “had fans, because he invented a style. He had followers, imitators”.

In June, a European collector bought another 17th century copy of Mona Lisa for 2.9 million euros, a record for a reproduction of the work, at an auction at Christie’s in Paris.

In 2017, Christie’s New York sold Leonardo’s “Salvator Mundi” for a record US $450 million. 

Today, in 2021, the Mona Lisa is believed to be worth more than Us $ 867 million, taking into account inflation. Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa between 1503 and 1506 AD.