Saturday, November 6, 2010


The lady at the museum told me the price of the ticket and I handed her the cash.  Then she looked me up and down and remarked that, of course, I wasn’t old enough for a senior discount. “Actually I am,“ I said.  “In fact I’m almost a year older than that.” I got a skeptical eyebrow raise and a whole dollar back.

It was a special traveling hands-on exhibit I went in to see.  There were rooms full of interactive machines created from Leonardo da Vinci’s own notes. 

Over the stairway was a life-size reproduction of The Last Supper.  Replicas  of some of his other famous works such as, The Mona Lisa, Virgin of the Rocks,  and the big horizontal Annunciation filled the upstairs gallery.

 The original of The Last Supper is 15 by 29 feet and was painted with tempera paints on the back wall of a dining hall in Milan, Italy.  In spite of, and because of, restoration efforts, Da Vinci's masterpiece deteriorated.  Now the room where it resides is a sealed, climate controlled environment and the painting has undergone a twenty-one year high tech repair job.  Visitors need a reservation to see it and can only stay for fifteen minutes. 

Mona Lisa on the other hand was begun in Italy, then she was moved to France where she lived in castles and palaces and then went to the Louvre in Paris.  She was stolen in 1911 and Pablo Picasso was one of the suspects of the crime. He was exonerated.  

Two years later Mona Lisa was discovered back in Italy where she got a grand tour of the country and was finally returned to the Louvre.  During World War II she traveled around France to be kept safe from damage.  From December 1962 to March 1963, the French government lent her to the United States to be displayed in New York City and Washington D.C.  In 1974, the painting was exhibited in Tokyo and Moscow.  She is over 500 years old and an international commission convened in 1952 noted that, "the picture is in a remarkable state of preservation."

I learned a lot that day at the museum.  Mona Lisa taught me I should get out of the house, travel to new places and meet lots of different people if I wanted to continue to hide birthdays.


Sarah said...

I didn't realise that the Mona Lisa had travelled so far and that Picasso was suspected of her theft. I have seen her-from behind a very large crowd of tourists and she is very small! I would love to see her again but closer up.

TALON said...

Mona looks wonderful for her age - as you do, too, apparently, Leenie. It's true - it's what's inside us that reflects outside.

Sounds like a great exhibit!

Linda Sue said...

Mona Lisa, I have never really understood the fuss but there you go- I am new on this planet...As for you ever looking any older than twelve is not likely- it's your sparkle! Your playfulness and sense of humour- it's your very you-ness.

Anzu said...

I'm interested in that these famous paintings had been made sport of by fortune. I hope to learn such a lesson. However,
I'm sorry that it will be lectured by English.
I can understand a little.(LOL)

susan m hinckley said...

Great lessons for all of us, I'm sure -- and it seems that you must have learned them! I, on the other hand, have been getting offered senior discounts for a good 5 years now and I'm only 47. Could you please lend me some sparkle?

Anonymous said...

When I teased my friend about turning 60, she promptly pointed out that she would now have to pay less to get into quilt shows than me!! (I've got two years to go!) Thanks for all that info - fascinating!

DayPhoto said...

I would have loved to see this exhibit. Thanks for letting me see it through your lens.