Title: Becoming Mona Lisa
Author: Donald Sassoon
Publisher: Harcourt 2001
Genre: Nonfiction - Art
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Nonfiction Adventure; TBR Pile; 52 books - W35; Well Rounded Reader - Art/Design
The Mona Lisa is widely recognized as the most famous painting in the history of art--and an undeniable icon of pop culture. Her celebrated face is used to sell everything from champagne to automobiles, and appears on ashtrays, mouse pads, and refrigerator magnets. More than any other art object, the Mona Lisa demonstrates that something can be high art and pop, classic and cool. Likewise, Donald Sassoon's elegant narrative is as much the story of one painting's ascendance to the status of global icon as it is the popularization of serious and distinguished art. A professor and acclaimed writer, Sassoon provides a fascinating account of Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance genius who created the picture; who the mysterious subject was; why it gained its unrivalled position in the art world; and how it has come to be used and abused by other artists and the international advertising industry. Lavishly illustrated, Becoming Mona Lisa is at once social, cultural, and art history of the highest order.
Meh! I thought this would be a great look into why the Mona Lisa is so popular. And while it is, I felt that the writing and overall book construction left much to be desired. It was just so clunky. I had a lot of trouble paying attention to the pages. I gave it 3 stars because the subject matter is interesting and there were interesting bits. I was just bored through a majority of it...