When Leonardo died in 1519, the Mona Lisa was inherited by his student/assistant Salai.
King Francois I of France is believed to have purchased the painting from Salai, and hung it in his bathroom in the palace at Fontainebleau. (note: The King’s bathroom was nothing like our bathrooms today… it was very large and opulent, and was home to many beautiful paintings. In fact, it’s been said that “the Louvre museum was born in the French king’s bathroom!”) From there, Louis XIV moved it to the Palace of Versailles, and after the French Revolution Napoleon Bonaparte hung it in his bedroom for a while. The Mona Lisa remains the property of the French government today.
You can now see the Mona Lisa at the Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, where it has a room of its own and has been on permanent display since 1797. Over 6 million people visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre each year. They spend an average of only 15 seconds looking at her.