Here's The Museum You Should Visit If You Want To See The Mona Lisa

One of the most famous artworks in the world, the Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci sometime between 1503 and 1516 (via Artstor). Relatively simple at first glance, the painting depicts a woman smiling softly in front of a dreamy natural background. Plus, as stated in National Geographic, da Vinci passed away in 1519, meaning the Mona Lisa was one of the very last paintings he worked on.

Known as a genius, da Vinci mastered utilizing shapes and shadows in his paintings to create works that can be interpreted in multiple different ways. Though arguably the most famous, the Mona Lisa isn't his only renowned painting — Arthive lays out some of his most famous creations, including The Last Supper (yes, that one) and Lady with an Ermine. Both of these paintings are currently on display too, the former at the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan and the latter at the Czartoryski Museum in Poland (per Culture Trip). 

Still, the Mona Lisa remains the painting most associated with da Vinci, and its timeless appeal continues to draw large crowds today.

Seeing the Mona Lisa in person is one of Paris' main tourist attractions

If you're planning a trip to Paris, My Modern Met states you can see the Mona Lisa in person at The Louvre. One of the most famous museums in the world, The Louvre is one of the tourist attractions that has made Paris a must-visit destination. Also known as the city of love and lights, Paris is perfect for soul-searching Enneagram Type 4s and has a lot to offer beside museums. It was also recently heavily featured in the Netflix show "Emily in Paris," which uses Paris both as a setting and as inspiration for its title.

The Louvre was first built back in 1190, as Live Science reported, and was steadily expanded over the years to become the beautiful building it is today. Originally a royal palace, the building was used as a court base until 1682. During this time, King Louis XIV moved the court to Versailles, another famous French landmark. After moving to Versailles, The Louvre became home to various art schools and was used as a place for the students to show their work. In 1793 it opened as a museum.  

According to The Louvre website, the museum now consists of three wings that showcase various artworks, including da Vinci's enigmatic painting. The Louvre Estate additionally includes two beautiful outdoor spaces, the Carrousel Garden and the Tuileries Garden, which offer visitors a chance to take in some fresh air whilst enjoying the picturesque scenery. 

The woman in the painting has become part of the mystery surrounding it

So, who exactly is the mysterious woman in the painting? My Modern Met puts forward a theory that the woman in the painting is Lisa Gherardini. Gherardini was the wife of textiles merchant Francesco Giocondo, though her relation to Leonardo da Vinci and how she came to sit for the painting is not known. Mona Lisa is sometimes referred to by the alternate name of La Gioconda (via Britannica). Translated into English, Gioconda means a light-hearted woman, hence the woman's smile in the painting. It could also be a potential pun on her husband's surname.

If you want to see the Mona Lisa up close and personal, you'll need to prepare for crowds and queues. Reuters notes that the painting is now encased behind bulletproof glass and at a safe distance from visitors due to incidents in the past where it was almost damaged. Try to be patient if you wish to take a photo commemorating the moment when you see da Vinci's masterpiece in person, especially during peak visitor times like summer at The Louvre.