Leonardo’s Mona Lisa (ca. 1503–1506) is perhaps the most famous painting in the world. Her strange smile and the mysterious identity of the sitter have inspired writers and artists for centuries.
Remember that only wealthy peoplewould have had their portrait painted—and they would only have a portrait painted once in their lives. So a portrait was supposed to be very much about status and position. And remember, too, that portraits took a very long time to paint, so the person having their portrait painted would have to sit for hours, for several days, while the artist captured their likeness.