The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world, created by the Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci. The painting is thought to depict an Italian noblewoman named Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506.
The painting is renowned for its realism and for the enigmatic smile of the woman. It was acquired by King Francis I of France in 1518 and hung in the Palace of Fontainebleau, where it remained until 1682, when it was transferred to the Palace of Versailles.
In 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte acquired the painting and imported it to Paris. It remained in the Louvre after the French Revolution, when it was rechristened La Joconde by the French, and gained popularity throughout Europe.
In 1911 the painting was stolen from the Louvre, and remained missing for two years, before it was recovered and returned to the museum.
The painting has since become a symbol of the Renaissance and is one of the most popular and recognizable works of art in the world.