Exploring The Waste Land
A miscellaneous page linked from The Waste Land, Part I, line 49

The Mona Lisa
Line 49

Theft of the Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre on August 21, 1911 while Eliot was still in Europe following his year at the Sorbonne. The theft and its hullabaloo may have made a big impression on him. It turns out that the painting was stolen on Monday morning by just being removed from the wall. It was not discovered to be missing until Tuesday afternoon!

There is a PBS half-hour documentary covering the theft of the Mona Lisa. The documentary is part of a series entitled "Treasures of the World". Perhaps your PBS station may be having a rebroadcast soon. (PBS is America's Public Broadcasting System.)

Mona Lisa a self-portrait?

There is a theory that the Mona Lisa is a fantasy self-portrait of Da Vinci (and thus the mischievous smile.)

A researcher found that if she scaled down a drawing taken to be Leonardo's self-portrait and then flipped the image left-to-right the face matched that of Mona Lisa's. The juxtaposition was discovered by Lillian F. Schwartz. The combination of the portraits can be found at two web pages listed below. (Leonardo kept the painting of Mona Lisa until he died.)


See Smithsonian Magazine, May 1999, p. 54, "Seeking Mona Lisa" for more on the painting, it's theft and a little on Schwartz.

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L 200 - The Mona Lisa Was Stolen!
On August 21, 1911, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, one of the most famous paintings in the world, was stolen right off the wall of the Louvre.
L 201 - Theft of the Mona Lisa
Web pages to supplement a U.S. television miniseries "Treasures of the World" presented by PBS (America's Public Broadcasting System.)
L 202 - Lillian F. Schwartz
A web page that shows a juxtaposition of the Mona Lisa with a drawing taken to be Leonardo's self-portrait.
L 203 - Lillian F. Schwartz
A biography page for Lillian F. Schwartz showing her credentials

Exploring The Waste Land
File name: mq049.html
File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002
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