How the Mona Lisa Became So Overrated

Arts and culture, Mona Lisa, Louvre Museum, Paris. art world, art news, culture, media, art theft, world's most famous painting, Leonardo da Vinci

Mona Lisa © Mihai Andritoiu

September 24, 2016 23:30 EDT

The adulation of the Mona Lisa tells a story about popular culture.

Anyone who ever had to endure endless queues to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa will understand this question of its popularity.

Nestled among our civilization’s most magnificent creations, the story of the world’s most famous painting is not so much a story about artistic merit, but about how art breaks into our culture.

Had Vincenzo Peruggia not lifted the painting off the Louvre wall in 1911, would the elusive smile be as enchanting today as to draw nearly 80% of all visitors to the museum just to see it?

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Mihai Andritoiu

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