It took more than four years, but Mona Lisa and her creator must now be smiling about La Joconde's new home at the Musee du Louvre in Paris, France. La Joconde is the French name for Italian Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci's 500-year-old masterpiece.
Mona Lisa's name in Italian and Spanish? La Gioconda.
In Italian, gioconda means a light-hearted woman.
The Mona Lisa moved to her new home within Paris' Louvre art gallery on Monday, April 4th 2005.
Da Vinci's famous oil on wood painting, perhaps even more famous than his Last Supper painting, now hangs alone on a wall in the museum's Salle des Etats.
The Mona Lisa is often described as the most famous piece in art history.
Few other works of art are as celebrated, reproduced or romanticized.
On Wednesday, she will be ready for public viewing.
The room where Mona Lisa now resides is bigger.
Her new room will give those who come to see her a better view.
The museum's curator Cecile Scaillierez told reporters on Tuesday:
You will be able to rediscover La Joconde.
The lighting, display and space accorded the portrait will make it much easier to admire the museum's top attraction.
The museum's top attraction was brought to France in 1517. She has been in the Louvre since 1804.
In 1911, da Vinci's Renaissance portrait was stolen from the Louvre, but rediscovered two years later in a hotel in Florence Italy.
Other previous homes include: Fontainebleau, the Palace of Versailles, Chateau Amboise, the abbey of Loc-Dieu, the Ingres Museum in Montauban, the U.S., New York City, Washington D.C., Tokyo and Moscow.
Curator Jean Harbert said researchers have determined that da Vinci's painting was of Lisa Gherardini, wife of obscure Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocond. It has also been determined that da Vinci started painting her in 1503.
Those who study art believe that when da Vinci stopped painting her in 1506, it was not because he felt he was finished with her. Harbert said that some of the background leaves doubt that da Vinci was done with his masterpiece.
Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519)
It is said that Leonardo himself loved the portrait, so much that he always carried it with him until eventually it was sold in France to King Francois I.
The King bought the painting for 4,000 ecus.
Today, the current value of the Mona Lisa is well over $500 million.
A thin panel of poplar wood was the canvas da Vinci used in 1503. This material is fragile, so to help preserve the painting, the museum keeps the climate at 68 degrees and the humidity at 55 percent, Harbert said.
Peruvian architect Lorenzo Piqueras spent the past seven years designing and supervising the transition of Mona Lisa's home.
Today, he has helped make her easier to find in the museum.
Her new spotlight helps bring out the true color of her hands, chest and face.
You can also see the red in the sleeves and in the road in the background, which you couldn't do before.
Mona Lisa's Room with A View
This room is positioned ideally, running north to south.
The closest you will get to da Vinci's 21 by 30 inch creation is 100 feet.
The cost to refurbish Mona Lisa's digs? $6.1 million.
But she is worth every penny, or euro, should I say.
Every year, millions visit the Louvre Museum in Paris. Many come just to see the Mona Lisa.
I am hoping to be there in June to take a look. If I do, I will certainly report back and tell you what I think.
In the meantime, on my way to Hong Kong tomorrow, I plan on finally getting started with The Da Vinci Code.
Inspire & Be Inspired.
Here's to healthy, adventuresome, soulful, "getting a glimpse of the most famous, elegant smile - in the world" living!
~ Jennifer Carolyn King, Rugged Elegance, LLC