I will be basing part of this unit’s class on Becoming Mona Lisa by Donald Sassoon, Harcourt, 2001. For background reading prior to Thursday’s class:

  • read Chapter One from Becoming Mona Lisa (uploaded here).
  • read what you can on Leonardo da Vinci.
    I’d suggest first looking him up on www.artchive.com Ha! The home page used the painting as an icon! You’ll find more inside…

Respond to this question. Your response should be approximately 750 words (answer all 3 questions)

The Mona Lisa is Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous painting. In fact, ‘she’ is the most famous painting in the world. She is even considered to be the most famous work of art in the world.

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1. In your opinion, what is the primary reason for this evolution in fame?

2. Do you think the original painting has been enhanced or diminished by this change in status?

3. Explain how and give specific examples from the internet of how her image has been ‘borrowed’ by contemporary advertisers.

Please note that your paper must be entirely original – though you will likely use sources, you will credit those sources. Assembling together passages from web pages or books, cutting and pasting together a paper from other people’s sources or writings is plagiarism, even if you footnote those sources.

Remember that less-than-graceful writing will count strongly against you, as will misspellings and typos and other signs of carelessness. Proofread. It helps to have someone read over your “final” version before you submit it. You’d be amazed at what you miss. You must include your own ideas in these essays, arguing your case well. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.

This essay should start with a brief description of the artwork, in which you display your knowledge of vocabulary and concepts learned in this semester where appropriate. You must include your own ideas in these essays, arguing your case well.

MLA format



-quality paragraphs / sentence structure


-cite all references

-no plagiarism (my instructor will check)

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