More than 100 years ago, in August 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen off the walls of the Louvre in Paris. The famous Leonardo da Vinci painting wasn’t recovered until two years later, in December 1913.
It is one of the most popular paintings in the history of art. Artists from all over the world consider it as a masterpiece in which Leonardo da Vinci has delicately shown his skillful sfumato – a unique technique to add subtle gradations and give an unbelievable shadow to an object.
Many people are surprised to know that this masterpiece is not painted on canvas, but on wood. Accomplished artists of that time considered wood as a primary preference for working on smart art.
Who stole Mona Lisa?
An Italian thief called Vincenzo Peruggia stole Mona Lisa. He was born in Dumenza, Varese, Italy and believed that the rightful home of the painting should be in Italy. According to the police investigation, the former worker managed to hide in the Louvre Museum on 21 August. He grabbed the white smocks that museum employees had used, making himself indistinguishable. Then, he stole the painting and left the museum.
Police and investigative specialists immediately took action and tried hard to discover the thief. Within a few months, they were able to identify him and finally recovered the painting after two years, when Peruggia attempted to sell it to a gallery in Florence.
Mona Lisa and Today’s World
From movies, cartoons, novels to comics, Mona Lisa stands among one of the few most distinguished paintings. Several poets and writers have mentioned her and is considered a jewel for not just the Louvre Museum, but the entire art community worldwide.
Back in 2003, when the Louvre Museum was renovated, a separate room had been prepared for the Mona Lisa. The painting is now covered with a glass ceiling that allows the natural light to pass in, and a shatterproof and bulletproof glass that protects the painting.