The Mona Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Famous Masterpiece

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“The proportions of the beautiful forms that compose the divine beauties of this face here before me, which being all joined together and reacting simultaneously give me much pleasure with their divine proportions that I think there is no other work of man on earth that can give me greater pleasure.”

Of course, in spite of his prophetic hubris, the Mona Lisa remained quite obscure for a few centuries after the artist’s death. Then, in a strange twist of fate, the painting was stolen from the Louvre by a museum worker named Vincenzo Peruggia in the year 1911. This made headline news around the world in the days and weeks that followed. That’s when “Mona Lisa” became a household name. Then, to add to her celebrity status, in 1919, the American-French artist Marcel Duchamp created the Dada work of art shown below, entitled L.H.O.O.Q. This is a clever pun because when the letters are pronounced in French they sound like “Elle a chaud au cul”, meaning “She has a hot ass”. In this way, and many others, Leonardo’s idealized woman quickly entered our collective unconscious. Thus, the Mona Lisa didn’t become a legendary figure until the early 20th century.

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An Autodidact Polymath

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