23 July, 2018

How much is The Mona Lisa Worth?

The Mona Lisa (La Joconde in French) is arguably the most famous painting in the world. It receives 6 million annual visits from its climate-controlled room in The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre) in Paris, France.

One of the most interesting facts about it pertains to the fact it cannot be bought or sold. It belongs to the French people which is enshrined in law.

There is a saying though 'Everything has a price’ but does it? It was given an unofficial valuation though.

Mona Lisa's Record Valuation

In 1962, it received a valuation of $100m which after inflation is over $834m in today's money. This is almost double the $450m paid for the Salvator Mundi in November 2017. What’s ironic is that both artworks were painted by Da Vinci.

The $100m price tag at the time was extraordinary though. Not only because they were able to reach a figure but it doesn’t even consider its greatest features!

Let’s take a closer look at Lisa Gherardini, we mean The Mona Lisa or 'La Joconde' if you want to get your French game on.

A Brief History of The Mona Lisa

  • The subject for The Mona Lisa is of someone else! Francesco Del Giocondo commissioned a portrait of his wife Lisa Gherardini.
  • The reason why the $100m policy wasn’t taken out was due to the premiums costing more than the best security money could buy.
  • In 1911, Vincenzo Perugia caused a mass panic after successfully smuggling The Mona Lisa out of the Louvre! He hid the painting for 2 years before he was caught trying to sell the painting to a gallery in Italy. A patriot at heart, the former Louvre employee believed the painting belonged there and his endeavour contributed to one of the most emotionally-challenging periods suffered in France.
  • A $7m fortress was constructed to house the famous Mona Lisa. Boasting climate control and bulletproof glass, it's successfully foiled many attempts of disfigurations.

What Makes The Mona Lisa Priceless? 

Leonardo Da Vinci started the painting in 1503. It’s said that he was still adjusting it until 1507!

Being an oil painting, you can instantly see its rich and vivid nature. This has sparked numerous arguments over time as the expression of La Joconde is still debated.

Is she upset? Angry? Frustrated? It would probably help if she had eyebrows! Or eyelashes for the matter.

One thing is for certain, La Joconde will never change but our arguments probably will.

Final Words

Oil painting has been around since the 5th century and is still a popular medium. Did you know these paintings were oil based?

  • Whistler’s Mother - James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
  • The Starry Night - Vincent van Gogh.
  • The Water Lily Pond – Claude Monet.

If you enjoyed this article then take a look at our exploration of the oil painting medium which forms part of our art series. Hit the button below!

How much is the Mona Lisa worth?
How much is the Mona Lisa worth?
How much is the Mona Lisa worth?