Mona Lisa Lesson for Kids: Facts & History

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Who is the woman with the most famous mysterious smile in the world? In this lesson, learn about the famous portrait of the Mona Lisa, the well known artist who painted it, and the history behind the artwork.

Who Was Mona Lisa?

Songs have been written about her, United States presidents have been photographed with her - just who is this famous figure, Mona Lisa? Unfortunately no one is sure of the true identity behind the famous Mona Lisa portrait. A portrait is a painting or photograph that focuses mostly on someone's face, and it is created by another person - in Mona Lisa's day there were no selfies!

Many believe that the portrait is of Lisa del Giocondo, while others think that perhaps it is a portrait of the artist's mother. The question of the portrait's identity has created intrigue about the painting, and for centuries many have wondered just what inspired her mysterious smile.

Many viewers over the years wonder what thoughts lie behind the mysterious smile of the Mona Lisa.
Portrait of Mona Lisa

World Famous Painter

So who was the painter commissioned to complete this portrait? You may have heard of him before: the famous Leonardo da Vinci. Born in Italy in 1452, Leonardo da Vinci is considered a Renaissance Man. This means he was highly skilled in many areas, including sculpting, painting, and inventing. Leonardo da Vinci took on the task of painting the portrait in 1503, but there were other, higher-paying commissions that came his way and he delayed completing the portrait. The actual date it was finished is not certain, but historians believe it was around 1516. King Francis I of France became the owner of the painting, and it eventually became the property of the French nation.

Leonardo da Vinci was famous for his artwork, sculpture, and inventions.
Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci

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