The best way to see Mona Lisa at the Louvre
Whenever one comes to Paris, the Louvre Museum is obviously one of the main attractions of the city. While in Paris, visiting the most famous museum in the world is undoubtedly in everyone’s bucket list, especially to get the chance to see the Mona Lisa, also known as the Gioconda. Just for you to know how popular the painting is: some of the visitors actually buy a Louvre ticket just to have a quick glance at the Mona Lisa and to take a selfie. The Mona Lisa is quite a big deal, so there’s usually a lot of people standing in front of it. If you want to see it in the best conditions, you will need a few tips, so read on and find out the best way to see Mona Lisa at the Louvre.
Study a little about the painting before seeing it in real life
Why is it so famous?
First of all, you should study a little about the painting before seeing it at the Louvre. Its dimensions are the following: 77 cm × 53 cm (30 in × 21 in), so it is kind of small. You will need to know a little about its history and its details to fully enjoy the experience of seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, especially because it will be a few meters from you, so you won’t be able to have a closer look.
The painting was done by the Italian Renaissance artists, Leonardo da Vinci, between 1503 and 1506. Francesco del Giocondo, a nobleman, order the painting to thank his wife for giving him two children. But it only became famous after being stolen in 1911. At that time, an employee of the Louvre had taken it, and kept it for two years in his apartment in Paris. He then tried to sell it to an art gallery in Florence where he believed the painting belonged in. The owner of the art gallery warned the authorities about the situation, and the Mona Lisa returned to the Louvre Museum in 1914. Due to this scandal, the medias spread the history all throughout the world and that is how the painting became widely famous.
For the art connoisseurs, the Gioconda is a one-of-a-kind master piece, because the artist used the sfumato painting technique, which is a slow process where the paint is applied in thin layers. Leonardo da Vinci painted one layer, waited for it to dry, repeating this procedure several times until the painting was completed. That is the main reason why it took him three years to finish it.
Look at its details and try to interpret them
You could also read a few analysis and interpretations about the painting, so that you can run your own conclusions about it, and interpret it the way it makes more sense to you. I’ve studied the Gioconda a few times and, to me, Mona Lisa is the face of serenity. When you look at the painting, there’s like an interaction between her and the spectator. She has this peculiar maternal expression in her face. She peacefully smiles, as the river flows behind her. The water here symbolizes the “passing of time”.
Buy your tickets in advance
Now that you know a little more about the Mona Lisa, you’re probably eager to see it in real life. The best way to see Mona Lisa at the Louvre is to buy your tickets in advance, to avoid waiting in what can be super long line at the security entrance (30 minutes to 2 hours) and then wait in a ticket line (shorter) inside the lobby.
You can buy tickets in advance with Tiqets for any day (we have yet to see them sold out). You will receive your tickets via email or SMS and you just have to show your tickets on your smartphone. At the entrance go directly to the guard at the front of the pyramid entrance. There is a separate line for e-ticket holders, you still have to go through security, but you are merged near the front and once inside you already have a ticket so no second line. The nice part of these tickets is that you have to select a timeslot – a good way to plan your day.
You can also buy the tickets at the museum for 15 euros. Admission is free for visitors, aged under 18, and the 18-25 year-old residents of the European Economic Area. Bring your ID!
Pick the right entrance
It is also very important to pick the right entrance to the museum to avoid long waiting lines, since the Louvre Pyramid entrance is usually full of people. You can enter the Louvre by the Carrousel Du Louvre shopping mall, located at 99 rue de Rivoli. You also have another entrance to the museum at the Palais-Royal – Musée du Louvre metro station on line 1 and 7 of the metro.
Come at the right time
The best way to see Mona Lisa at the Louvre is also to come at the right time, either in the morning, when she wakes up, or at night, before she goes to bed. The museum opens at 9 am, so make sure to be there at the opening time, if you want to enjoy all the angles of the Mona Lisa painting. If you’re not an early bird, you can come at night on Wednesday or Friday, that is the only two days the museum stays open until 9.45 pm.
Know where to find it inside the museum
You should know where to find the Mona Lisa in the museum. It is located on the first floor, in the Denon alley, between the Italy paintings of 1250-1800 and the France paintings of 1780-1850. You don’t need to worry, the Louvre Museum is very big but the way to reach the Mona Lisa is indicated on the first floor. So as long as you go to the first floor, you won’t be having any trouble finding the painting.
You now know the best way to see Mona Lisa at the Louvre! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it has been useful. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything. Since you’re visiting the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, you should also take the time to have a look at all the other masterpieces the museum houses. Don’t forget you can buy Louvre tickets with Tiqets and to check our guide presenting the Louvre Museum.
If you’re a lover of Impressionist art, go to the Orsay Museum, and if you’re curious and love to experience different things, join our street art tour. In my opinion, art, in all its forms, has to be valued and appreciated, because it says a lot about the culture and the state of mind of the people and of the times it is produced in. See you soon in Paris!