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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa

Design by Barbara de Wilde

The DayGlo orange question mark (not so bright here, but trust me, "glo" it does) shouts from across the room that there's a question that needs to be answered: who stole the Mona Lisa in 1911, almost 400 years after da Vinci finished it? The answer's not so simple: Vincenzo Peruggia was arrested after trying to sell it in 1913 to the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, but author R.A. Scotti discusses others' possible involvement in the theft. Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire (who is credited with coining the word "surrealism") were among the suspects.


There's more than a small nod toward surrealism in de Wilde's cover, and a pretty brilliant juxtaposition of the modern with the classical (suggestive of modern art's relationship to its historic past). Again, trust me: find this at your local bookstore and see just how unique this is.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loved this from the first moment I saw it. Heard the author hated it and took a lot of convincing.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

I think this could have been a lot more interesting. Big question marks and full bleed portraits of the Mona must have been done. It's such a common image to see that it begs a different treatment than just a crop and a question mark. whatever. My 2 cents. I'd still pick it up.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

And don't get me wrong. I LOVE her work with a passion. Just this one is not my cup of tea is all. But i know hoe political things can get with authors and sales and editors, so on that note it succeeds with a certain originality in it's final execution. And obviously the subdued title is absolutely fabulous. Who needs a big ol' title sprawled over an image of Mona...?

Anonymous said...

Why not just have her mysterious smile be the question?
The question mark is ugly and simplistic.
EJ

Joseph said...

Ian, EJ: check it out in person and tell me what you think. The web just doesn't do this justice.

Anonymous said...

an earlier version didn't have the any type other than the question mark. It was all on the back, as a second cover. Still very nice. Kudos for salvaging the core concept.

Wendy said...

Ugh, I don't like it. Have the designer ever worked seriously on it???

Ian Shimkoviak said...

No, I get it. The bold, flourecent question mark laied over the classic image. It's interesting and I am sure striking. But more for it's production value in the use of flourecents.

T-Bone said...

I how many compositional variations were made – it seems kind of random and slightly off-kilter, but maybe that's the point…

T-Bone said...

whoops, i *wonder* how many compositional variations were made…

Funny videos said...

I think this could have been a lot more interesting.