What art qualities made Mona Lisa painting so costly? - ProProfs Discuss
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What art qualities made Mona Lisa painting so costly?

Asked by J. Pollock, Last updated: May 20, 2020

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2 Answers

Anika Nicole

Content Writer, Teacher

Anika Nicole, Wordsmith, PG In Journalism, New York

Answered Sep 21, 2018

Painted by Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history. It has been painted between the years 1503 to 1506 and it is also said that Leonardo worked on it till late 1517s.

It is rumored to be a painting of Lisa Gherardini who was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. The expression of this painting, monumentality of the composition, and atmospheric illusionism were one of the qualities which made it very expensive and popular. These three qualities cannot be possessed by a single painting.

Here, I have enlisted some of the specific reasons which made Mona Lisa painting so costly. So, let’s talk about them one by one:

  • Sfumato technique used by Leonardo: It is said that this technique was neither invented nor used by any of the painters of at that time. Sfumato simply means without lines or borders. He used various creative and unique technique and redefined the rules of contemporary art at that time.

  • The smile of Mona Lisa: Da Vinci created a unique smile of Mona Lisa using his different and out-of-the-box approach. He has painted this painting in such a way that her eyes are the center of the attention of the viewers and her mouth is periphery. He designed her smile in such a way that if anyone tries to focus on her smile, it slowly disappears. No one understands why? It might be the magic of creativity of Leonardo.

  • It took almost four years to be completed: Da Vinci worked on this painting for almost four years. But, finishing the painting took almost another 10 years.

  • The glamour of Leonardo Da Vinci: Indeed, he was a person full of controversies and secrets. He was really an interesting character and due to his name and fame, this painting gained much attention than it deserved.


J. Shatner

J. Shatner, Content writer, Boston

Answered Oct 01, 2018

The art qualities that made Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo Da Vinci costly are the technique used and the smile on her face.

Leonardo Da Vinci used a unique technique to make the painting. Da Vinci used techniques that were not common in the 16th century when the painting was made. Most paintings were made with borders and lines but Da Vinci never used any of them for the painting. He used 'sfumato' technique which he invented.

The 'Mona Lisa smile' is also one of the art qualities on the painting. If you look at the painting straightforward, focusing on the eyes and lips, it looks like she is smiling but if you look at the painting from a side view, it does not look like she is smiling. Da Vinci used special techniques and spent a lot of time (years) on the painting. As at now the painting is worth about $700 million USD.


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