In my last post I made an example of La Joconde. Turns out my reflections on our history is worth a post. I took French for four years in high school, and, as I imagine most classes do, we went to France the summer after I graduated. It was one of those true whirlwind trips. No more than a night in any place and plenty of time on the bus. Not enough time to really visit any one place, which, very much unfortunately, was the case with the Louvre as well. If I remember correctly, we had two hours there. Most of that time I spent amongst the Greek, maybe Roman, sculptures, but, come on, it's the Lourvre. There are a few things you have to see, so I wandered a little bit. Managed to walk past the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Couldn't find David. The Mona Lisa was different. I find it easily enough, but couldn't get within twenty yards of it because of the mass of humanity surrounding it. Not that I actually wanted to see the picture. I was more interested in the security and all the preventive measures against light and environmental damage. Still, the crowd kept me from even seeing that much.
The people so eager to see this piece fascinated me though. What is the big deal about seeing it? The picture itself is not much bigger than a sheet of paper. You could probably get a better view of the picture from out in the hallway where ceiling to floor length banners of the painting were hung, yet people were still desperate to get in on it themselves. They held digital cameras above their heads to try for a shot, no doubt vastly inferior to those they could find in some gift shop or even online.
2 years ago