'Isleworth Mona Lisa' visits Shanghai

April 27 2016

Image of 'Isleworth Mona Lisa' visits Shanghai

Picture: 247tickets.cn

The 'Isleworthless Mona Lisa' (above, and below) is on public display again, this time in a shopping district in Shanghai. Press reports herald the arrival of this important masterpiece - which claims to be another version by Leonardo of the Mona Lisa - with Shanghai Daily writing:

Due to the painting’s priceless value and place in art history, the “Earlier Mona Lisa” will be displayed behind bulletproof glass, in a humidity-controlled, GPS-locating case. Despite such precautions though, visitors will be able to get up close with the painting.

Tickets cost between RMB 100 and 120, or between $15-$18. That's a lot of money to see a copy and read a lot of nonsense. Nobody wants to interest new audiences in China in Old Masters more than I do - and it irritates the hell out of me that Chinese art lovers are being offered this sort of expensive rubbish. In fact, I pledge here and now that one day I'll organise a proper exhibition of Old Masters in China.

I see also in Shanghai Daily that the comical 'Mona Lisa Foundation' is sticking to its claim that:

Twenty-eight out of 29 experts believe this is either possibly or certainly a painting created by da Vinci.

Which is about as useful as those '8 out of 10 cats prefer Whiskas' adverts.

Marketing for the show seems to promote it as a luxurious and exclusive event.

Incidentally, it seems pretty clear to me that the Isleworth picture is simply a copy of another copy of the Mona Lisa in the National Museum in Oslo, below. You can see how the various details have become simplified the further away you get from the original, so that you end up with the rubbery pastiche we see in the Isleworth picture.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.