Why Is The Mona Lisa So Expensive? (Top 5 Reasons)

You may know the worth of the Mona Lisa which is, perhaps, the most famous and recognized painting of the 21st century, painted by eminent Italian painter Leonardo de Vinci.
 
But you can not think how worth the price is. Considering inflation, this wonderful masterpiece is now worth more than $867 million.
the smile of Mona lisa
A notable French news channel stated in 2014 that the price of the Mona Lisa could pay off the national debt of France! Can you conceive the worth of the painting?
 
Yeah. The Mona Lisa is such an expensive painting of the world that is unique in a true sense.
 
With an intellectual sense of art, brilliant touch, and unique technique, Vinci created this innovative portrayal depicting a portrait of a noblewoman who is faintly smiling. Thus, it has gained worldwide popularity since the 20th century due to magnificent landmarks including mysterious outlook, obscure smile, subtle graduations, aesthetic beauty, etc.
 
Therefore, I’m here to discuss the reasons elaborately for which the Mona Lisa is so expensive. Hence, here you are.
 

Why is Mona Lisa so expensive ?

Why Is The Mona Lisa So Expensive
Now, it’s time to illustrate the causes for the Mona Lisa being an expensive and precious artwork in the world.
 
Amongst several reasons, the principal ones are elucidated here one by one.
 

Popularity 

popularity of Mona Lisa
The principal cause of it being so expensive is the popularity of the Mona Lisa.
 
It can be said that the painting is arguably the most popular and celebrated piece of art in the world.
 
It is hard to believe that the Mona Lisa was hardly known to anyone before the 20th century and had gained popularity in that century although it was painted in the 16th century. So, when did it become so famous?
 
In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre museum of France and remained untraced for two years. Overnight the painting became a high sensation making a hype.
 
Press media including newspapers and tv channels started to pick up the story of the abduction by publishing news, articles, photos, and documentaries.
 
The director of the museum resigned, and even Pablo Picasso, one of the prominent painters, was arrested out of suspicion.
 
People across the country flocked to the museum to watch the empty place where the painting was once hung.
 
Thus, the story of the Mona Lisa spread throughout the world and it became so familiar to everyone. Over time, it gained worldwide recognition.
 
When it was rescued after two years of stealing, it had returned triumphantly and became a well-known masterpiece of art.
 
As a result, its value has been raised exceedingly over time. This popularity has made it the most desirable, sought-after, and expensive creation of art in the world.
 

Magnificence 

Magnificence of mona lisa
The Mona Lisa is a magnificent piece of painting with many splendid features that enroll it to be the greatest creation of all time.
 
It is incomparable, outstanding, and completely aesthetic. It looks very realistic because of Vinci’s skillful touch.
 
Vinci took great effort and created it with his unique artistic technique namely ‘sfumato technique’ meaning ‘without lines or border, in the manner of smoke.’
 
At that time, using outlines was a very common and typical one. But Vinci did not follow this feature.
 
Instead, he used different hues and slight graduations of light and shadow to form the portrait.
 
Along with dark undertones, the portrait bears the illusion of three-dimensional features that include thin layers and semi-transparent glazes.
 
Darker hues are employed to highlight the outlook and boundaries of the motif.
 
Besides these features, the Mona Lisa carries some other fascinating aspects such as the landscape of mountains and rivers in the background.
 
All of these features show a sheer observation and the inexhaustible patience of Vinci.
 
Hence, Leonardo de Vinci has painted a peerless figure that very much symbolizes a complicated human.
 
For this reason, the Mona Lisa has been regarded as a magnificent artwork in the world.
 
On account of its distinction, it has created a great appeal and so, become very precious and ridiculously expensive.
 

The Smile 

the smile of Mona lisa
For what the Mona Lisa has become so unique is its smile. This is another reason that enlists it to be very expensive.
 
Vinci used an optical illusion to bring an outstanding smile through perspective and shadow throughout her face.
 
It is painted in such a way that when a viewer looks into the eyes, the mouth falls into a peripheral vision that creates a small shade and makes the mouth smiling.
 
But whenever the look is directly fixed on the lips, the smile slowly disappears. Truly, it is like magic, and it seems that Vinci is a magician.
 
This particular landmark has made the Mona Lisa outstanding, special, and unique compared to other paintings of all time.
 
Some interpret that smile as a happy smile while some say that it is rather deceptive, a sad smile.
 
In this way, the smile of the Mona Lisa has created so many interpretations for the viewers.
 
Consequently, the portrait of the Mona Lisa has become a true picture of art with her unique and glorious smile. This has also made it outrageously high-priced.
 

Mystery

Mystery of mona lisa
The mystery of the Mona Lisa is still obscure and unexplored. The portrait has been surrounded by several mysteries and marvels including its enigmatic smile, identity, and the techniques used in it.
 
As I said before, the smile of the Mona Lisa is wholly outstanding. It creates so many interpretations whether it is a happy or sad smile.
 
Besides that, the unique technique used by Vinci is also amazing and mysterious. One of the controversial mysteries of the Mona Lisa is its lacking eyebrows.
 
But it has apparently unseen and very faint eyebrows.
 
In 2007, a French inventor and engineer named Pascal Cotte explored with a high-definition camera that the Mona Lisa has dim eyebrows and eyelashes.
 
Along with these marvels, the identity of the Mona Lisa is another opaque matter to the analysts.
 
It is believed by some critics that the woman is named Lisa del Giocondo who was a noble Italian.
 
Some also claim that the portrait is actually painted as the female Da Vinci.
 
Another mentionable matter is that Vinci had created only 20 canvas paintings during his lifetime.
 
This makes the portrait so rare and its scarcity elevates the value very much.
 
Therefore, it is perceptible that the Mona Lisa is a mysterious painting.
 
It has raised so many mysteries and amazements that fertilize its demand throughout the art lovers in the world.
 
Eventually, it has become a luxurious and desirable portrait.
 

Primitiveness

Primitiveness of mona lisa
And the final reason in my list for which the Mona Lisa is so precious is its primitiveness.
 
All the things that are primitive, ancient, and outdated are valuable, precious, and superfluous.
 
People yearn to have archaic things as their own whether out of hobby, passion, or pride.
 
Consequently, their appeal and demand increase the price of the thing.
 
In this way, the Mona Lisa which was painted in the 16th century is a primitive and long-aged work of art.
 
It shows and represents the spirit of the renaissance of the middle age. It symbolizes the contemporary world’s art, vision, and culture.
 
Thus, its age has made it a precious gem.
 
That is why it is now recognized as an exceptional innovation that is an outcome of middle age.
 
Consequently, upon this, the Mona Lisa carries an expensive value among the other paintings of the world.
 
Frequently Asked Questions:
 

Why was the Mona Lisa painted?

 
It is believed that the Mona Lisa is a portrait of an Italian noblewoman named Lisa del Giocondo who was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine silk merchant.
 
Leonardo de Vinci painted it as a commission from Francesco for their new home and to celebrate their second son Andrea’s birth.
 
But it is unknown why Vinci didn’t deliver it to them. Instead, he sold it to King François I at 4,000 ecus.
 
After Vinci’s death in 1519, the king acquired it and it is now in the Louvre museum after the French Revolution.
 

Why is the Mona Lisa so famous?

 
The Mona Lisa is so famous due to several reasons.
 
One of the primary reasons is its unique and innovative technique applied by Vinci.
 
His sfumato technique showed how he painted it without using any outlines and borders.
 
He also used different illusions by using colors and shadow and consequently the smile of the Mona Lisa becomes mysterious.
 
Another prominent cause to be so famous since the last century is its theft from the museum.
 
In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen by someone. This incident instantly created hype and it gained international sensation.
 
After two years, it was rescued from the thief. Then, it has become much more famous after this incident.
 

How much is the Mona Lisa worth and why?

 
The Mona Lisa, the most valuable painting in the world, is worth such a hefty price that surprises anyone.
 
In 1962, it entered the $100 million. But the most surprising and incredible matter is yet to come.
 
In 2021, the painting was insured at more than $867 million, adjusted for inflation.
 
The reasons behind this expensive price tag have been mentioned and discussed before.
 
As it is one of the most famous, exceptional pieces of art, it has created hype over the world and thus, become so unique.
 

Is the Mona Lisa the most expensive painting?

 
Now, the Mona Lisa can be said as the most expensive painting in the world.
 
As mentioned above, the Mona Lisa has been equated to $867 million in 2021 because of its excellence.
 
But officially, Leonardo de Vinci’s other painting ‘Salvator Mundi’ is the most expensive in the world.
 
It was sold for a record $450 million at Christie’s 2017 auction.
 

How long did it take to paint the Mona Lisa?

 
So many debates have been raised about the exact time of painting the Mona Lisa.
 
The time is somewhat controversial that some say that Leonardo de Vinci took four years to paint his masterpiece the Mona Lisa.
 
He started this painting in 1503.
 
Some other experts anticipate that the painting was incomplete at that time. So he took another three years during 1516 or 1517.
 
Again, some historians and critics express that it took 12 years for Vinci to complete this painting.
 
However, considering all the opinions, it can be said that the Mona Lisa took almost 16 years of discontinuous work to be completely painted from 1503 to 1519.
 

Is Mona Lisa copyrighted?

 
No, Mona Lisa is not copyrighted rather it is now in the public domain.
 
Public domain paintings are out of any kind of copyright or trademark law. They are not individual property restrained under protection.
 
While they can be owned by any individual or particular agency and museum, the depicted image can be used by anyone on any occasion.
 
It should be noticed that any kind of copyright protection would expire after 70 years of the artist’s death.
 
Hence, the Mona Lisa has lost its copyright and become public property for use although it is owned by the government of France and displayed in the Louvre museum by the authority.
 

Why is the Mona Lisa located in France and not Italy?

 
Leonardo was an Italian, the portrait was painted in Florence, and the woman depicted in the painting was also an Italian.
 
But it is now located in France.
 
The reason is that Leonardo passed his last years of life in the court of the French King Francis I. And after the completion of the work, he even sold it to the king.
 
Thus, it remained with the French government and has been displayed in the Louvre museum.
 

What are some of the craziest facts about the painting Mona Lisa?

 
The Mona Lisa is a name of the wonder of the world.
 
It carries various incredible and crazy characteristics. Some of the craziest facts of the Mona Lisa are :
 
1. It is painted not on canvas but a popular plank as oil on wood.
 
2. Some historians say that this portrait is a self-portrait of Vinci himself, his female version.
 
3. Vinci used his unique sfumato technique that means he didn’t use any kind of outlines or borders.
 
4. In 1911, this painting was stolen from the museum and found after two years.
 
5. Napoleon Bonaparte once hung the Mona Lisa in his bedroom in the Tuileries Palace for 4 years.
 
6. The Mona Lisa visited America at the request of Lady Jackie Kennedy and was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of the Arts in New York City and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
 
7. It is one of the most ancient pieces of art in the world, more than 500 years old.
 
Final Words
 
To draw the end, it is a typical perception that the Mona Lisa is a very expensive painting of the world.
 
Leonardo de Vinci, the great creator of this masterpiece, took his utmost effort and great care to complete the painting precisely.
 
After a number of years, he became successful in this initiative.
 
Because of outstanding artwork, unique magnificence, mysterious marvels, long-aged prevalence, and worldwide popularity, the portrait has internationally become one of the most sought-after and desirable paintings of the art.
 
As a result, now it is worth million-million dollars.