The Mona Lisa is, perhaps, one of the most popular paintings in the world, but why is that?

Why is the Mona Lisa famous? Why do millions of people a year flock to see her in person? It’s actually a fascinating story of flowery prose, robbery, and media hype.

I’ll be frank, I really didn’t see why the Mona Lisa inspired so much adoration. And even though I have never seen her in public, my friends who have describe her not in terms of her brush strokes or artistry but in terms of the crowd of elbows and raised camera phones that surround her.

So, why is she so beloved? Here’s the story from Vox on where all of this began.

Via: Vox 1

Making an Icon

Whether or not you are an art lover, I think you can appreciate the story of the Mona Lisa, mostly because it’s the story of so many pop culture icons. What makes a piece iconic is not necessarily its beauty or its critical acclaim, but its story, and its mythology.

Perhaps we need a little more storytelling in our lives. What if we knew the stories behind our favorite artists, musicians, scientists, and thought-leaders? I find the more “real” those incredible people seem, the more we can see ourselves becoming the next astronaut, conservationist, Nobel Prize laureate, or Pulitzer Prize winner.

Our stories are critical to inspiring the next generation of thought leaders who create or become cultural icons. And maybe we won’t all become the next Leonardo da Vinci, or Jane Goodall, but wouldn’t the world be so much richer if it was filled with artists and scientist making the world an even more amazing place?

So, go learn the story behind your favorite work of art, or the biography of a beloved hero, you might find your own inspiration along the way!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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Notes:

  1. “How the Mona Lisa Became so Overrated.” YouTube. Vox, 20 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2wy7Fp2fqw>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV