Jan.

15

The Tale of Two Mona Lisas

Leonardo Da Vinci
oil on panel, 1504

The most famous painting in the world, the MONA LISA, is thought to be Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of an Italian politician. If you ever travel to Paris, please brave the hoards of people to see this 500 year old painting at the Musée du Louvre.

Look closely, Mona Lisa doesn’t have any eyebrows or eyelashes. Some art historians believe women during Mona Lisa’s time considered facial hair unattractive, so they plucked their eyebrows and eyelashes off.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
acrylic and oil on canvas, 1983

A blend of symbols and obscure meaning, Jean-Michel’s homage to Da Vinci depicted the Mona Lisa as obscuring George Washington’s face on the dollar bill. It’s believed Jean-Michel was reconciling the idea of art as currency during what was an affluent time in the New York art world. Some art historians also believe Jean-Michel was challenging the Mona Lisa as a symbol of beauty.

*I’m often asked how I decide what to write about. Well…a copy of JMB’s Mona Lisa hangs in my hallway and my niece asked me the story of Mona Lisa. So, her questions inspired this post. Thank you, J!

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