Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Insanity Revisited

Mona Lisa Through Glass

Whenever I visit a new city, I head for the art museum. In Chicago, I had the flu, walked 10 blocks in the blistering icy wind without a good winter coat just so that I could see Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. In Washington D.C. it was Whistler's Peacock room and a small hidden Vermeer. At the Louvre, it was La Joconde... the Mona Lisa. I'm just a giddy tourist... as my fellow travelers will attest, I'm not very pleasant on museum outings. I'll lose people, guards will kindly tell me to step back from the painting!!!! I'll spend two hours staring at one work of art. With the Mona Lisa, I guess it was more the fame of the painting... and besides, who goes to the Louvre and doesn't see the Mona Lisa? As you may know, the Louvre is insanely huge and labyrinthine. And with my bad map-reading skills...and leaving it for the very end of the day just as the museum was closing... well, but, I can walk pretty fast, zipped by the Venus ... beautiful... should stop to ad..mire.. a Caravaggio... must keep going...up stairs... elevator too slow. And when I finally did get there, there was an insipid velvet rope with a million people there... so I took a deep breath, and admired two gorgeous da Vinci paintings not more than 20 meters from the Mona Lisa... all to myself. And, I saw the Mona Lisa too, from the side (it's behind glass)... as people are exiting... and the guards... eh, non!


  1. Art for masses, not the idea of the painter I would say.

  2. I couldn't get close to La Joconda because of the crowds in 1979. Instead, I studied the portrait that then was directly across the room from Mona Lisa - Gypsy Girl by Franz Hals. I like the Hals more.