Leonardo and the Mona Lisa Story: The History of a Painting Told in Pictures Hardcover – 28 Sep 2006
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Five centuries after Leonardo da Vinci first painted "La Gioconda", or the "Mona Lisa", her mysterious smile retains its celebrity status. Da Vinci today is in the public eye like no other artist, yet few of us know the compelling story of this priceless world treasure: how she was created; her impact on other artists; the story of her theft; and how, through a mix of luck, history, and her own innate beauty, she came to be regarded as the world's greatest painting. In this engaging story, told largely in pictures and presented in a unique format, acclaimed historian and "Mona Lisa" scholar Donald Sassoon offers us an intimate look at the painting's history and the genius who gave the Mona Lisa lasting life. From photographs of Florence to paintings by Leonardo's Florentine contemporaries, parodies of the Mona Lisa by Duchamp and Warhol, commercial appropriations and cartoons, "Leonardo and the Mona Lisa Story" unlocks the history behind the painting and illustrates just how much she continues to influence our culture.
About the Author
Donald Sassoon is perhaps the world's leading expert on the Mona Lisa. He is the author of Becoming Mona Lisa: The Making of a Global Icon. Currently a professor of comparative European history at the University of London, Sassoon was educated in Paris, Milan, London, and the United States.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book thoughtfully presents the history, technique, and all the trivia regarding 'Mona Lisa'.
One would think that the dimentions of this colossus would be larger than 21 X 30". But thats what Leonardo chose. Why would it take him 3+ years to paint? Why would he paint it on perilously thin poplar wood? How did he achieve that divine smile?
Here is presented the answers and history of this iconic painting. From it's benign renaissance beginning through it's establishment as a masterpiece and onto it's becoming a phenomenon.
August 1911 the 'Mona Lisa' was no longer in the Louvre. "The Theft of the Century" is a most captivating chapter
The history is followed nicely by copious reproductions of the painting and it's contemporaries along with photos from 1911-2006 of events and key characters. Many modern renditions by the likes of Warhol, Dali, Dubuffet, Masson, etc. are included.
A well thought out and wonderfully presented history of this global icon. Donald Sasson is a leading expert on the 'Mona Lisa'. This edition is more user friendly (for the masses) compared to his more academic other version.