To the Italians, she is La Gioconda, to the French, La Joconde, and in English we call her Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci, started 1806. Completed ??). She is arguably the most well known painting in the world, although why we really don't know. What makes her so special that people flock to this one room in the Louvre to see her?
She is painted on a poplar panel (ie wood) which has warped some. Today she is housed behind bullet proof glass in a climate controlled environment, with an LED light made especially for her to prevent degradation.
The ironic thing about this room is that there is always a large crowd of people straining to see this
largish, but modest size painting, while directly opposite- on the other side of the room- hangs the Louvre's largest painting, The Wedding Feast at Cana (Paolo Veronese, 1563). There were people looking at this grand painting, but not nearly as many as were crowded around the Mona Lisa .
If you look at the man standing on the front left of the painting you get a sense of how huge the painting is. With this painting you can walk right up to it and look up. You can't see anything. It was definitely made to be viewed from a distance.
The one thing you can see are the seams where the canvas was stitched together. That's the cool thing about seeing a painting in life.