Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of the Mona Lisa
On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened - Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than twenty-four 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. 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 questions such as 'Was she lost forever?' A century later, questions still linger. Part love story, part mystery, 'Vanished Smile' reopens the case of this art theft. R. A. Scotti’s 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 this familiar icon.
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I enjoyed this book about the theft and return of the Mona Lisa. I liked learning the history of the painting, how it got to France, and where it ended up during the time it was missing.
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