On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened - Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than 24 hours passed before museum officials realized she was gone. The prime suspects were as shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young provocateurs of a new art. As French detectives using the latest methods of criminology, including fingerprinting, tried to trace the thieves, a burgeoning international media hyped news of the heist.
No story captured the imagination of the world quite like this one. Thousands flocked to the Louvre to see the empty space where the painting had hung. They mourned as if Mona Lisa were a lost loved one, left flowers and notes, and set new attendance records. For more than two years, Mona Lisa's absence haunted the art world, provoking the question: Was she lost forever? A century later, questions still linger.
Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and perplexing art theft ever committed. R. A. Scotti's riveting, ingeniously realized account is itself a masterly portrait of a world in transition. Combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, Scotti turns the tantalizing clues into a story of the painting's transformation into the most familiar and lasting icon of all time.
©2009 R. A. Scotti; (P)2009 Random House
This book about the theft of the Mona Lisa would be better read (as opposed to heard). Although the reader has a pleasant tone, her pace is sooooooooooooo sloooooooooooooow. This 6 hour 44 minute book would probably just be a 3 hour book if read by someone else. Her pace makes me feel like an idiot who needs to be spoken to slowly and clearly, so it's coming off a bit insulting. I've put the book aside for now. Don't know if I'll go back. Maybe there's an Audible Cliff Notes copy?
Informative and interesting for anyone who can appreciate a bit of art history, a fabulous scandal and the power that Mona Lisa possesses around the world.
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