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Monalisa painting disappointed me

Updated on September 4, 2011

Young Victor (aka Alladream74) in front of the Monalisa

Minutes after seeing the Monalisa for the first time in the flesh.
Minutes after seeing the Monalisa for the first time in the flesh. | Source

Its nothing personal

My first viewing of the Monalisa in person was not at all what I anticipated. After having heard,read and seen pictures of this wonderful painting books from thousands of miles away,viewing it in the flesh was not what i really had in mind. I did not expect her to sing one of Mozarts greatest's at all but the view of the Monalisa was less than impressive for several reasons. The main reason being my faut,too many expectations,if eastern philosophy about not expecting too much or anything rather, ever rang true, it was true here.I had set myself up to see a great painting, and I expected it to be grand,in my minds eye, it was going to be spectacular. Spectacular it is, but it is just a painting after all. I felt lost infront of it with its cracking paint,in its dull grey box with the bullet proof glass infront of it.

Monalisa View

Viewing the Monalisa was a bit of a pain with so many heads popping up infront of me.
Viewing the Monalisa was a bit of a pain with so many heads popping up infront of me. | Source

Tourists ruin my view of the Monalisa

I too was a tourist at the time but as we all know, sometimes its all about "me, me, me ,me" .Yes my selfishness got the better of me and I forget that i would not be the only one going to view the world famous painting by the great Leonardo Da Vinci. There were so many people in that section of the Louvre by 8 am it was unbelievable.This was the second day we had attempted to see the painting,after having come around four pm the previous day only to be greeted by the backs of a thousand heads. (Not really a thousand, but you catch my drift.) The painting is naturally a crowd puller and my five minutes of fame with it in view were just that,five minutes in front of the master piece and the crowds behind me were begining to get agitated.

The rope

As if the bullet proof glass was not enough.The Louvre decided to put a rope about a metre away from the glass which was a fair distance from the painting,so viewing was really from quite a distance.Denying me the chance to smell it and really look at the cracks and the brush stroke Leonardo used to create that mystic smile.

The Louvre

Image taken early one morning in 2005 on trek to see the Monalisa
Image taken early one morning in 2005 on trek to see the Monalisa | Source

Morning trek to the Monalisa

This picture was taken on the morning we went to view the Monalisa in 2005. Having dedicated ourselves to make an early morning break, the french weather and light were not forgiving at all. Though I was disappointed by the reality of seeing a world famous painting, looking back, I am glad i had the chance to see France...early in the morning. Bonjour.


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    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      6 years ago from Oakland, California

      @CMCastro.Thanks for passing by.Looking forward to reading your account! Thank you for the follow.

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 

      6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      A really good account, Alladream 74. I have my own account of seeing the Monalisa, and you have inspired me to write a hub about my trip abroad. I was a child, and felt very disappointed that I could not enjoy the painting much either. Thanks again. I think it is time to follow you.

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      @Bud.Yes the crowd (which I made part of) took away from the experience,but hey,that is the monster we created.

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Very good hub. I really loved seeing the pictures, too. Sorry to hear your experience was not all you expected. I understand how crowds can really take away from things like this. I had a similar problem in D.C.

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      @ alocsin.No i dont recall seeing it.But i did make up for all that I missed

    • alocsin profile image


      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Unfortunately, a lot of people have that impression of the Mona Lisa after so much hype. Did you see the giant painting on the wall across the room from the Mona Lisa? Veronese's "Wedding at Cana" is a far more magnificent painting that everybody ignores.

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      @ Flora. Yes, thats true.There was a lot more to see in France and at least I got to see the Monalisa.

      @epigramman.Sir,your words are very kind.I am humbled.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      I understand how you feel. I've never seen the Mona lisa, but I've been to Grease where we were thronged with other tourists. And fabulous paintings are on loan sometimes in Vancouver. mom and I go to to see them and there are ropes- Mom is an artist and wanted to look closely at the paintings in great detail. But of course this isn't allowed. and you are only allowed to be in front of painting for a few seconds.

      Still, you have sen this great painting in person. And there are lots of other great things to see in France

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      @mckbirdbks.Yes I hear you,The city did make up for it all

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      7 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      In my view, it is the build up, that expectation that makes the brief moment we have to see these treasures seem like a disappointment . There is no time to be overwhelmed. The beauty of the city itself should have made up for some of the let down.

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ....well you will always be a renaissance man in my book my good friend - I admire your thoughts and your writing - and your hubs are always fascinating and interesting and just come from that world class mind of yours .....hope all is well with you - summer is definitely here in Canada by lake erie - how is your weather? Stay well and keep thinking good thoughts - and this is a great story about your visit to the Louvre.


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