The Mona Lisa is widely recognized as the most famous painting in the history of art--and an undeniable icon of pop culture. Her celebrated face is used to sell everything from champagne to automobiles, and appears on ashtrays, mouse pads, and refrigerator magnets. More than any other art object, the Mona Lisa demonstrates that something can be high art and pop, classic and cool. Likewise, Donald Sassoon's elegant narrative is as much the story of one painting's ascendance to the status of global icon as it is the popularization of serious and distinguished art.
A professor and acclaimed writer, Sassoon provides a fascinating account of Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance genius who created the picture; who the mysterious subject was; why it gained its unrivalled position in the art world; and how it has come to be used and abused by other artists and the international advertising industry. Lavishly illustrated, Becoming Mona Lisa is at once social, cultural, and art history of the highest order.
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What is it with the Mona Lisa? Why has one small Renaissance painting of a woman--whose "mysterious" smile nobody paid much attention to until the 19th century--become the most famous artwork in the world? Donald Sassoon's witty, tidbit-packed social history Becoming Mona Lisa: The Making of a Global Icon investigates the people, institutions, and ideas that shaped popular taste. Deftly folding prodigious research into a lively narrative, Sassoon emphasizes the role of marketing--from a haunting description by English essayist Walter Pater to press coverage of the painting's theft from the Louvre (1911), vandalism by a stone-throwing visitor (1956), and headline-grabbing exhibition in the U.S. (1963). Beginning in the 20th century, a range of interpretations by other artists--some of which are included in the book's modest group of color reproductions--join the unstoppable tide of spoofs, travesties, advertising images, and even medical diagnoses of the unsinkable Lisa. --Cathy CurtisAbout the Author:
Donald Sassoon is a professor of history at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the highly acclaimed author of One Hundred Years of Socialism and Contemporary Italy: Economy, Society, Politics Since 1945, and is a frequent contributor to major British and European publications. He lives in London.
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Book Description Harvest Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0156027119
Book Description Mariner Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0156027119
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801560271131.0
Book Description Harvest Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110156027119
Book Description Harvest Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0156027119 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1050923