One of the largest museums in the world, The Louvre
is well known for being the home of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa
, the earliest Italian painting to focus intently on the sitter in a half-length portrait. But how did such an important work by the Italian Renaissance artist end up in France? Rather than giving the portrait to the person who commissioned it, da Vinci brought the painting with him to France in 1517, where he continued to work on it – it was his favourite painting and he would continuously add details to it for the rest of his life. After the artist’s death in Amboise, the Mona Lisa
was inherited by the artist’s assistant, who sold it to Francis I for 4,000 gold coins after which it was added to the royal collection. Today, 6 million people come to visit the portrait every year.