The cloud of mystery and intrigue that continues to surround the Mona Lisa painting will be explored next month in Fort Smith.
The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum will host "The Secrets of the Mona Lisa" Private Viewing & Museum Opening Gala from 7-11 p.m. Jan. 19 at the museum, 1601 Rogers Ave., said Lee Ortega, FSRAM executive director. The event celebrates and details the findings of French scientific engineer and fine-art expert Pascal Cotte, who studied Leonardo Da Vinci's well-known creation and arrived at some unique, interesting conclusions, she said.
"The Mona Lisa is fascinating because of its extraordinary history," Ortega said. "It was sold to the King of France, believed to have hung in Napoleon Bonaparte's bedroom and stolen in 1911."
The painting, which also underwent "attacks of vandalism," survived as one of the most written about, sung about, studied and recognizable works of art of all time, she said. People's interest in the painting seemingly never wanes, Ortega said.
"There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the reserved and enigmatic sitter, which included the theory that Mona Lisa was a self-portrait of Da Vinci himself," she said. "Despite the fact that the painting is over 500 years old, it is in remarkable condition and continues to draw record crowds at the Louvre Museum (in Paris, France) annually."
Cotte, who will serve as the keynote speaker for the museum's opening gala, conducted a scientific analysis that revealed "dozens of secrets" about the painting, Ortega said. Cotte's findings, which will be detailed at the event, have been verified and endorsed by Louvre Museum curators, she said.
Twenty-five of Cotte's most compelling revelations will be illustrated by "40 super-magnified, high-resolution sectional images" used to explore every aspect of the Mona Lisa painting, Ortega said.
Scheduled to remain on display at the museum through March 17, the exhibit also includes the only 360-degree exact replica of the painting ever created, as well as a giant, infrared image that will reveal several secrets, she said.
"We are already booking tours and hope to have the schools of Fort Smith and the surrounding areas bring their art students to view the exhibit," Ortega said.
"This painting is a cultural icon," she added. "This painting continues to captivate and ignite our imaginations."
"The Secrets of the Mona Lisa" Private Viewing & Opening Gala
When: 7-11 p.m. Jan. 19
Where: Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, 1601 Rogers Ave.
The event explores the famous painting and features the findings of French scientific engineer and fine-art expert Pascal Cotte. Cotte will speak at the event, which also celebrates the opening of the new FSRAM.
Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by calling 784-2787 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to purchase tickets is Jan. 11.
"The Secrets of the Mona Lisa" exhibit will remain on display through March 17.
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