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A really, really poor point of comparison

Who is this mysterious woman, who painted it, and where does it hang?



I would say answers on a postcard please, but there can be scarcely anyone, worldwide, with any pretence to culture who would not know.


However, a nameless organisation that hangs out in Brussels is worried that folk are insufficiently familiar with the Gioconda. It has come up with a plan to create a European Digitlal Library (which I am not going to condemn out of hand), but check what that woman Vivianne Reding has to say:

"The European Digital Library will be a quick and easy way for people to access European books and art – whether in their home country or abroad. It will, for example, enable a Czech student to browse the British library without going to London, or an Irish art lover to get close to the Mona Lisa without queuing at the Louvre".

Sigh. Our lucky Irish person is unlikely to stumble upon the painting at the EDL and for it to come as a surprise, I would think, and the plastic arts do not lend themselves to being digitised in the same way that the written word does. That said, having seen the painting up close (behind roughly inch thick glass) it is fairly unimpressive - perhaps through gross over familiarity, before everyone shouts 'Philistine!' - and I was far more taken by Le Radeau de la Méduse.

Footnote - given the speculation that Mona is Leonardo, the chorus from Little Milton's 'Grits ain't groceries acquires a twist. Judge for yourselves:

"
If I don't love you, baby
Grits ain't grocery
Eggs ain't poultry
And Mona Lisa was a man"

(Sounds better sung, honestly)

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