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Archive for the category “Mona Lisa Honored by JFK and 1st Lady”


January 8, 1963


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Mona Lisa, the most famous painting in the world, was welcomed to the United States today by President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy at the National Gallery of Art.

                         Mona Lisa
            by Leonardo da Vinci

The first couple also welcomed French Minister of Culture Andre Malraux who arranged for approval of the loan of the painting from the government of France & the Louvre.

The Mona Lisa is the work of Leonardo da Vinci who began the painting in Florence, Italy between 1503 & 1505.  

Da Vinci left the painting unfinished for many years but resumed his work & finished it before his death.

The Mona Lisa, which was named for Lisa del Giocondo, wife of a wealthy merchant in Florence, was sold to King Francois I of France.

           JFK, Marie-Madeleine Lioux,
         Andre Malraux & Mrs. Kennedy
                 National Gallery of Art
                        January 8, 1963

In his address at the National Gallery of Art today, President Kennedy said:

“We in the United States are grateful for this loan from the leading artistic power in the world, France.  

This painting is the second lady that the people of France have sent to the United States & though she will not stay with us as long as the Statue of Liberty, our appreciation is equally great.

Leonardo da Vinci was….an artist & a sculptor, a architect & a scientist, & a military engineer, an occupation which he pursued….in order to preserve the chief gift of nature, which is liberty.

In this belief he expresses the most profound premises of our own two nations.”

              Mona Lisa on Display
            National Gallery of Art
                 Washington, D.C.

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