Mona Lisa by Leonardo… or by Picasso?

Mona Lisa by Leonardo… or by Picasso?
Isabel del Rio

Mona Lisa. Stolen in 1911, the painting returned to the Louvre in strange circumstances.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci 042

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci 042 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo was stolen in 1911. Picasso and Apollinaire were accused. The painting reappeared in strange circumstances.

**On August 22, 1911 the most celebrated painting from the Louvre Museum in Paris, ‘Portrait of Mona Lisa’ (1479-1528), also known as La Gioconda, by Leonardo da Vinci, was stolen. The whole affair was very confusing and ended in an artistic scandal. A young painter, Pablo Picasso, and his friend Apollinaire were accused of involvement in the theft and they were detained and questioned. In the end, the famous portrait reappeared and the case was dismissed. Fantastic! The Louvre had again its painting, and future generations can admire the lady of the most enigmatic smile. Beautiful!

Beautiful? Maybe much more. Maybe a lesson about where is the truth and the difficult ways to find it.

In 1911, Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) was certainly able to paint like Leonardo da Vinci. In fact, he was long ago. For example, being 15 years old, he had painted ‘The First Communion of her Sister’ demonstrating that he dominated Renaissance art. In Paris, he was eager to everlasting fame… and, well, everybody knows other artists and authors eager to everlasting fame.

It’s more than probably that Jorge Luis Borges included one of his personal tales in the Arabian Nights, thanks to a trick of false-translation. And in opinion of several historians, the heroic biography of Miguel de Cervantes and his brave behavior when he was in a prison in Algiers (attributed up to now to a priest) was an autobiography that Cervantes sneaked into the history. Genius! They liked to cheat audiences and to demonstrate they are the best, making reality their fictions. Then, it would not surprise me that Picasso had also been tempted to get into this artistic world of mirrors.

I don’t believe Picasso were looking for black money, neither Apollinaire. Were they looking for appearing in newspapers? Perhaps. Was the whole issue a joke? I don’t know. Were they cheated by some bad company? In fact, they had a lot. Were they cheated by a third or fourth person? Everything is possible. But maybe Picasso wanted a face to face with Leonardo and his Mona Lisa. Of course, it’s only a stupid idea but, you know… Genius!

Picasso is a myth, Leonardo da Vinci other… Afterwards, it starts the legend.

How many secrets does the Mona Lisa save?

Anyway, don’t worry. After the theft the portrait was inspected (including X-ray) and the true Mona Lisa is at the Louvre today. But maybe Picasso guarded his copy under his mattress, just to demonstrate himself he was as good as the father of the Renaissance… Secrets!

View Comments (1)
  • what a great story! and who knows? who…knows…ah, therein lies the best of all…just who… 😉

Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

More in Arts

Rarely Seen Silkscreen Prints by Jacob Lawrence at the Phillips

Yareah MagazineJanuary 7, 2017
Matt Keegan, Alphabet Soup (Blocked #6), 2016, Monoprint, 66 x 44 in; 167.6 x 111.8 cm

San Francisco Exhibitions. Altman Siegel. In search of Vedaland: September 8 – October 1

Yareah MagazineSeptember 3, 2016
Mailroom Tracking Excellence Award

Tracking Excellence Award For University OF The Arts London

Yareah MagazineSeptember 2, 2016
Francesca Quintano. Heterogeneous Locus. 60x48. Oil on Canvas

Los Angeles Exhibitions. DAC Gallery

Yareah MagazineJune 21, 2016

Sarasota Bay. Ringling International Arts Festival

Yareah MagazineMay 26, 2016

Dandyism and Black Masculinity at The Photographers’ Gallery

Yareah MagazineMay 26, 2016

Yareah Magazine

Art is Everywhere and Up to You.

About Us - Press Kit - Contact Us

YM on Twitter

Top Posts & Pages

Yareah® Magazine is a Registered Trademark in the United States