Mona Lisa Mania

There’s no doubt the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world. It’s the most popular thing to see at the Louvre, the most popular museum in Paris, the most popular city (for tourism) in the world. So. It’s pretty popular.

It’s almost like this is what tourism now is – a fight. For what? For the photo. The perfect photo. The perfect selfie. Look – selfie doesn’t get the red line when I type it. It’s officially a real word!

So if you’re going in, you have to go in. These photos do not really show the truth of the struggle to get to the painting and get a snap. 100 people maybe standing with cameras in the air, pushing their way closer and closer to the front. Some who make it there spend a few minutes – which relatively is a long time – taking snaps trying to get their own face in the perfect pose with Mona Lisa smiling behind them. I wouldn’t be surprised if some actually remove or paint out their own eyelashes for that special snap.
Nevertheless. I was powerless to ignore the stampede and walk on. Instead, I braved the crowd and pushed my way in. I was a couple of people from the front to get the snap of the photo. Maybe 3 or 4. I had a decent lens so I didn’t need to be within five metres or whatever it was. Those with phones taking selfies I guess needed to be closer.

And then I left to walk the rest of the Louvre. As busy as some areas were, nothing matched the pandemonium of the room with the painting of Mona Lisa. I surmised that they should ban phones and cameras from the Louvre. I guess it’s nice to have a photo of the painting, and yet somehow, I feel so dirty…


May the Journey Never End!

9 thoughts on “Mona Lisa Mania

  1. Well said Andy. I think Mona Lisa is overrated. Yes, it is a nice painting, but the whole experience of seeing it is disappointing. Hidden behind the glass, tourists pushing you in order to get a good photo… just not how I imagined it. I much prefer other Louvre paintings. For instance, Liberty Leading People by Eugène Delacroix was one of my favourites. 🙂

  2. BBQboy

    Tourists are a bunch of sheep. If you told them a painting of a piece of shit was a masterpiece they’d believe it and they’d be living up for selfies with that piece of shit.

  3. MB

    Amusing post. Years ago (early 1990’s?) my hotel got me a timed reservation for the Louvre opening. I was number 3 in line. The night before I mapped out where the Mona Lisa was located (it was in a different spot back then without much of a barrier). When they let us in, I RAN to the painting and had a whole 3 minutes to myself with Mona Lisa…..

  4. Sigh…. it’s a shame that this one work of art (and it is just a work of art) has become such a big thing. There are so many other pieces of art in the Lourve which are worth seeing, and I wonder how many people really care for the art at all, or whether they just turn up, grab a selfie and leave without a second thought. Tick that box :/

  5. We have been quite lucky to arrive at the Mona Lisa painting at times when there were few people surrounding it. There is always some crowd, but it’s never been truly awful. A great idea is to go see it with kids because people are a little nicer about letting kids get up to the front, so you can ride in on their coattails! Haha – it works, though!

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