Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Vincenzo Peruggia Created the Mona Lisa—by Stealing Her

He made more money as a handyman than as an artist, but Vincenzo Peruggia’s personally responsible for making the Mona Lisa what it is today. Leonardo da Vinci painted Lisa del Giocondo in the early 16th century, but Peruggia made her famous worldwide by walking out of the Louvre with the painting wrapped in his smock on August 21, 1911, one hundred years ago today. With that daring daylight robbery, the Mona Lisa began her ascent into the stratosphere of cultural fame, while Peruggia (shown above, in his police photo) sank further and further into the hazy mists of vague infamy. How and why did Peruggia do it? More importantly, what would have happened if he hadn’t? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How Vincenzo Peruggia Created the Mona Lisa—by Stealing Her."

[Many thanks to Noah Charney for answering my questions and providing me with a review copy of The Thefts of the Mona Lisa: On Stealing the World's Most Famous Painting.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For the latest on Mona Lisa, see "Leonardo's Val di Chiana Map in the Mona Lisa", in Cartographica, 46:3, 2011. Donato.