If we do meet again, why, we shall smile; If not, why then this parting was well made.


Vanished smile : the mysterious theft of Mona Lisa R.A. Scotti Art thefts France Paris Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519 Mona Lisa New York : Knopf Books, 2009 Hardcover. 1st. ed.     241 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 237-241). Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened–Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than twenty-four hours passed before museum officials realized she was gone. The prime suspects were as shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young provocateurs of a new art. As French detectives using the latest methods of criminology, including fingerprinting, tried to trace the thieves, a burgeoning international media hyped news of the heist.

The sensational disappearing act captured the world’s imagination. Crowds stood in line to view the empty space on the museum wall. Thousands more waited, as concerned as if Mona Lisa were a missing person, for news of the lost painting. For more than two years, Mona Lisa’s absence haunted the art world, provoking the question: Was she lost forever? A century later, questions still linger.

Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and perplexing art theft ever committed. R. A. Scotti’s riveting, ingeniously realized account is itself a masterly portrait of a world in transition. Combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, Scotti turns the tantalizing clues into a story of the painting’s transformation into the most familiar and lasting icon of all time.

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