The Mona Lisa


First of all, I wanted to announce that I will be posting an article every Monday on the blog. I will try to slip another one on Fridays sometimes.

Since launching Here Be Dragons, I’ve started writing on different blogs and platforms. One of them is Quora, where in two weeks I’ve become one of the most viewed writers in Fiction, with roughly 65.000 views.

Recently, I’ve been asked to answer a question on Quora:

What is the one place in Europe one should not visit because it is overrated?

This was the answer:

It most certainly is the Mona Lisa!

First of all, this is what you expect to see:

Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece consists of revolutionary techniques and composition, mesmerizing modelling of forms, and jaw-dropping illusionism. It is splendid and has been the subject of debate for centuries and even part of many conspiracy theories.

What you do not expect, however, is the painting being 30 by 21 inches. You don’t expect to almost lose sight of the Gioconda due to the awe inspiring paintings that surround her in the Louvre’s hall and the tens of tourists trying to snap a quick picture.

This is probably what you will see once you’ve deciphered your way through the great hallways of the Louvre. As always, it is all about the journey, not about the end (since the end is naught but disappointment). You are much better off seeing the truth behind the Mona Lisa at home. It is impossible to do so as and when being pushed by the remaining tourists next to a perimeter set through a cordon.

The painting is encased in bulletproof glass, with guards on both of its sides who are ready to face the never-ending tourist hordes.

Even if you can get past the sinister atmosphere and try to enjoy the painting, you will probably be too far away to notice most of its details – well if they are the real details (as it could probably be that it is not the real thing).

Should you turn your back on the Gioconda, you will discover a painting that is truly magnificent. The Wedding at Cana, by Veronese, towers all in the great hall and it makes the Mona Lisa look even smaller.

If you are struck by awe and rush to the Louvre in order to see the Mona Lisa, be prepared to have your heart shattered into a thousand pieces and have them blown away by a gusty wind which will make each piece sink into the sands of time.

 you can follow me on quora  @ https://www.quora.com/profile/Mihnea-Nastase

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