Thursday, January 07, 2010

On My Nightstand: Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is one of the most iconic images in history. Completed by Leonardo da Vinci, it has entranced millions who can't get enough of its enigmatic smile and eyes that seem to follow the viewer as they gaze upon it.

The painting, which adorned the palaces of the kings of France for nearly all of its illustrious history, hung in the Louvre in the Salon Carre for five years until August 21, 1911, when it was stolen while the museum was closed. The theft was discovered on Tuesday the 22nd, when the museum reopened. How and why the painting was stolen have never been adequately answered, and R.A. Scotti's book, Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa probes at the answers and the rumors that surrounded the theft.

Most interestingly, among those considered suspects in the theft were none other than Pablo Picasso. It's an interesting read, and those involved in the investigation, the suspects, and the Mona Lisa itself makes for an engaging and quick read.

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