Mona Lisa, Louvre – Travel Vignette
We were at the airport awaiting our flight when a lady sitting next to us asked, where we were going. The mention of France brought up Paris, the Louvre, and the Mona Lisa. I remarked that we were lucky to have this masterpiece available for us to see, especially since it was stolen from the Louvre about a hundred years ago. It took two years to be recovered. This was apparently, an international scandal at the time. She looked at me and said “Well, maybe if they would have made her bigger she wouldn’t have gotten stolen!” This is the impression I got the first time I saw her 20 something years ago too. “Hmm, I thought she would be bigger.”
So here’s the scene: about half way down a long gallery with massive Italian masterpieces you slip through a side passage. Once in, you notice the large crowds and wonder as to what they might be seeing. Are you missing out? As you make your way through the masses, with cell phones clicking pictures, you catch a glimpse of that world famous smirk. It takes a while to make your way to the front of the mob, for an almost unobstructed view. She is small, only about 30 x 20 inches. This size is only exaggerated by the way in which she is displayed. A lone painting on a monochrome wall behind bullet proof glazing. She must not get along with the other paintings, as the Mona Lisa has to be separated. Additionally, when you go look at her, then look behind you at the so much bigger it takes up a whole wall “The Wedding at Cana”. It’s such a contrast. She really is a masterpiece, and well worth clamoring through the crowds to see, even if her size is underwhelming. Don’t let her size and expected crowds stop you go and see da Vinci’s Masterpiece and the Louvre. You will love it! Go Artway Today!
Louvre visit 1994, July 2014, October 2017.
For more information about Paris, see our trip report “Memories of Switzerland, Germany, and France October 2017 – Trip Report”. Also, check out our “Luxembourg Gardens – Travel Vignette”.
Look Behind you from the Mona Lisa at The Wedding At Cana – What a contrast.