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The thefts of the Mona Lisa : the complete story of the world's most famous artwork  Cover Image Book Book

The thefts of the Mona Lisa : the complete story of the world's most famous artwork / Noah Charney.


Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait, called the Mona Lisa, is without doubt the world’s most famous painting. It achieved its fame not only because it is a remarkable example of Renaissance portraiture, created by an acclaimed artistic and scientific genius, but because of its criminal history. The Mona Lisa (also called La Gioconda or La Joconde) was stolen on 21 August 1911 by an Italian, Vincenzo Peruggia. Peruggia was under the mistaken impression that the Mona Lisa had been stolen from Italy during the Napoleonic era, and he wished to take back for Italy one of his country’s greatest treasures. His successful theft of the painting from the Louvre, the farcical manhunt that followed, and Peruggia’s subsequent trial in Florence were highly publicized, sparking the attention of the international media, and catapulting an already admired painting into stratospheric heights of fame. Charney examines the criminal biography of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, with a focus on separating fact from fiction in the story of what is not only the most famous art heist in history, but which is the single most famous theft of all time. In the process he delves into Leonardo’s creation of the Mona Lisa, discusses why it is so famous, and investigates two other events in its history of theft and renown. First, it examines the so-called “affaire des statuettes,” in which Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire were arrested under suspicion of involvement in the theft of the Mona Lisa. Second, there has long been a question as to whether the Nazis stole the Mona Lisa during the Second World War--a question that this book seeks to resolve. -- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781538181362
  • ISBN: 1538181363
  • Physical Description: xi, 155 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield, [2024]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 151-152) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction to the world's most famous artwork -- The most famous heist in history -- Inside the masterpiece -- When picasso stole the Mona Lisa -- From unimaginable to untraceable -- How Mona Lisa reached Florence and the hero on trial -- Did the Nazis steal the Mona Lisa? -- Myths and misconceptions -- How do we know it's the real one? -- Why Lisa is smiling.
Subject: Leonardo, da Vinci, 1452-1519. Mona Lisa.
Art thefts > France > Paris.
Painting, Renaissance
Genre: Informational works.
True crime stories.
Illustrated works.

Available copies

  • 8 of 9 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at James Memorial Public Library System.


  • 0 current holds with 9 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
James Memorial Public Library 364.1628 CHA (Text) 37211001279902 New Adult Books Available -

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