Wednesday, December 11, 2013

100 years ago today...

Today is the 100th anniversary of Mona Lisa's return to the Louvre. She was stolen on August 11, 1911, by an employee named Vincenzo Peruggia, who took the painting to Italy. He was eventually found out when he tried to sell it to the Uffizi in Florence.

I have several postcards in my collection from the period when Mona Lisa went missing and no one knew where she was. Here are a couple of them:
"Happy, after 400 years,
To find the key to the outdoors"
"I will come back in a few years
when chickens have teeth."
Marcel Duchamp's famous Mona Lisa parody L.H.O.O.Q., though not published until 1919, was probably inspired by the huge attention to the theft and return. Perhaps the flood of Mona Lisa parodies and appropriations throughout the entire following 100 years owes something to the notorious theft. (Yesterday I blogged about some very recent and not very relevant borrowings.)

Marcel Duchamp: L.H.O.O.Q.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

I love this post! I'm glad Mona came back -- even though she's hard to see in person with all the crowds!

I have much to catch up on with you!