Monday, June 1st, 2009

"Mona Lisa" Still Hot?

The hotness of her ass has been remarked upon.
A piece in the Journal this weekend wondered why seeing the Mona Lisa in person is such a disappointing experience. (The question has been asked before.) Critic James Gardner suggests one: "Unfortunately, like the dollar bill and the American flag, it has assumed a pall of such impenetrable familiarity that we no longer see it at all."

I'm inclined to accept that, but I'm also curious: For how much longer will it continue to be the case? Do kids still learn about the Mona Lisa in school? Does it carry the same significance to successive generations that it has for the last 100-odd years? Do their Adderall-addled brains, rewired by Google and spoiled for choice, give this and similar iconic images the same priority that once made it a top five box on the standard-issue Western culture checklist? Do they still sing "She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain?" and "This Land Is Your Land?" and whatever else I grew up learning? And, if not, are those necessarily bad things?

I don't know! That's a lot of questions for which I have no answer and which people have obviously been asking for a while now. I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Do you think we're close to living in a world where the most well-known portrait of a lady is something like this?

The hotness of her ass has also been remarked upon.

Because I might be okay with that.

26 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Chicks were much hotter back whenever that one thing was.

The rumor is that it is actually a self portrait.

wiilliiaamm (#225)

The fact is I am not that interesting in person. So…I get the M. Lisa thing.

What was dissapointing for me it was the hundreds of tourists wedged in front of it taking pictures and the plexi-glass box which housed it.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

It's no dogs playing poker.

GiovanniGF (#224)

God, how old am I that I don't recognize the girl on the photo?

Seriously, how old am I? I can't seem to remember anything these days.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

Her name is "Balk's last ditch effort to convince us of his heterosexuality in light of all the recent posts about musicals."

dweeb (#437)

This also explains Season 5 of The Hills.

It's also effing tiny.
So there's, uh, that.

Jasmine (#8)

SO small! And far away from the velvet ropes.

Hobbesian (#255)

And the crowd!

And isn't the Venus de Milo right near by? I remember her being much more spectacular. She totally bitch-slaps Mona Lisa, even with no arms.

jaimealyse (#647)

It's just not that awesome, at least not any extra awesome in person. The David in person? Awesome, and in a way you can't imagine from pictures or little knock-off replicas. But seeing the Mona Lisa was just like, yeah, I know.

OMG, I am so worldly, though.

Hobbesian (#255)

The detail on the pubes is other-worldly.

BoHan (#29)

Strongly agree! The "David" is just a big ole wow, including the way it's housed. The Mona Lisa might be nice, but I've never even gotten close to it, what with those tens of thousands of tour groups crowded around it screaming and sneaking pictures of it.

Well, the Mona Lisa is teensy AND sits behind a sheet of plexiglass that's about sixteen inches thick AND you have to wade through a crowd of 700 people to get up close enough to look at it (and then you're shoved out of the way thirteen seconds later,) so it's easy to find the in-person viewing experience underwhelming. Its celebrity has had the effect of robbing viewers of objectivity, too; no one and nothing could live up to the kind of hype Ms. Lisa has going for her.

Also, sfumato is the kind of technique that can be at least adequately understood in two-dimensional images. You don't need to be all up in her face to comprehend the mastery of technique. Gericault, Van Gogh, and the sculptors…their works really need to be seen in person in order to get the complete experience.

powdermonkey (#798)

The crowds were a problem, along with the guards yelling (in French) at the (in my case mostly Japanese) tourists to stop taking flash pictures.

But I think the worst part was the Mona Lisa is a fairly small painting in a large room off a hallway filled with some of the largest canvases ever painted. The Mona Lisa has no chance when you walk around the corner and see a wall full (stacked 3 high in places) of some of the most famous art in the world. Davids, Fragonards, and all kinds of famous artists, with as someone else pointed out, the Venus de Milo just down the hall.

A small painting, you have seen in better resolution (and larger) on the crappy poster on your dorm room wall, it is bound to disappoint.

zidaane (#373)

On the bloody morning after….
One tin soldier rides away.

katiebakes (#32)

We used to sing that song at church camp! Except they changed the words to "Monday morning after".

Give ME the keys, you fairy godmother.

missdelite (#625)

THAT, my friend, is no "lady".

Lisanti (#13)

Mona's got some gigantic pachyderm hands. Megan Fox definitely has her beaten in that category.

You may wanna take another look, darlin'.

That picture makes her thumb look weirdly stubby.

mpb (#799)

I saw the Mona Lisa for the first time just last week, and I think I was more concerned about getting a photo of myself with the painting in the background than with actually viewing the painting.

Why not let's meet back here in 15 years and ask the same of Megan Fox?

SA (#808)

Mona Schmona — If all those people would just turn around and look at the wall behind them they'd see a knockout Caravaggio…..but that's not why they came to the Louvre. Who is Megan Fox…and why is the picture so cropped?

Hez (#147)

It's so you can't see the valve where they blow her up.

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