I hate this artwork

When you consider the ‘most famous’ piece of art, what do you think of? I think of the Mona Lisa. And then I think of how much I dislike the Mona Lisa. 

Yes, it is brilliantly painted, insanely detailed, and very widely loved, but is it not a bit dull? Or worse, smug? 

Dreary browns and greens comprise the main hue of the painting, and there sits Mona, with her slight smirk and shifty eyes. She knows how popular she is and she revels in it, knowing her popularity will never fade.  It’s almost as if Leonardo da Vinci painted her knowing what a success she’d be. And so she sits in the Louvre, basking in the glory of her countless adoring fans. 

I know the Mona Lisa is just a painting, but it has an undeniable air of superiority. For me, the work cannot compare with something like Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. That painting is bursting with colours and vibrance and it transports you to a dream world. Of course I acknowledge that there is a distinction to be made between portrait and landscape painting, but even Van Gogh’s self-portraits are colourful and full of movement. 

Perhaps the Mona Lisa is stagnant, and she’s had her time to shine. Or perhaps I just need to find a different way of looking at her. All art is beautiful and unique and there is no denying that the Mona Lisa is a really influential and important piece of art. It’s just not my cup of tea. 


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Leia Butler

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October 2021
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