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If the Mona Lisa didn't exist, what would the default Greatest Painting be?

Epona

Tired & Emulsional...
No offense, but I just kind of object to the default position that the Mona Lisa is the greatest painting of all time, and that we'd have to pretend it didn't exist in order to elect something different. And I'd be hard pressed to pick 1 painting out of everything available.
 

hash tag

chillin
Don't be such a Grinch. How much of an excuse do you want to post a picture of a beautiful painting. When my daughter was a babe, she loved this; landseers dignity and impudenceN00604_9.jpg
 

Santino

lovelier than lovely
No offense, but I just kind of object to the default position that the Mona Lisa is the greatest painting of all time, and that we'd have to pretend it didn't exist in order to elect something different. And I'd be hard pressed to pick 1 painting out of everything available.
That's not really the point of the thread though.
 

kabbes

"A top 400 poster"
... the default position that the Mona Lisa is the greatest painting of all time, and that we'd have to pretend it didn't exist in order to elect something different.
Is very, very different to:

The Mona Lisa is often used as a sort of metonym or shorthand for art (that is Western art) in general. A bit like in the way that Beethoven's Fifth is shorthand for classical music, or Hamlet for English literature. I was idly wondering what other painting might have fulfilled this role if the Mona Lisa simply ceased to exist.
 

Stanley Edwards

1967 Maserati Mistral.
R.I.P.
This was mentioned in a Chinese historical novel I'm reading, have to confess hadn't even heard of the (famous) painter Kramskoi and reading the Wiki entry it's got a lot of Mona Lisa-esque qualities; clearly well-known in Russia and China (working class character brings home a print in my novel) and the art world:

Portrait of an Unknown Woman - Wikipedia
That is one of my all time favourite paintings. You can't really compare it to the Mona Lisa, but it is a fucking fantastic painting.

In general response to the thread OP...

Leonardo had a couple up his sleeve. He would come First and Second without Mona Lisa, because he wasn't just genius artist, he was genius everything. He could sell his talent in his time. I think only Van Gogh comes close. He may come closer in 300 years time, or he may be left further behind. Da Vinci took the gig whilst it was available, and I doubt very much if anyone else in the next Millennium will get even close.
 

dessiato

Because I could not stop for death
Yes that is phenomenal in the flesh
That's so very true. Most Dali I've seen have been truly awesome when you are standing in front of them. The size makes you wonder how he managed to conceive and produce them. I couldn't single out any one as above the others.

One Hopper I especially like has no impact until you see it. The finess of the art, the life and movement, his work depicting the effects of light on the subject, are all utterly amazing. You don't get this overwhelming effect until you are in front of it.
9643_1.jpg
 

Mrs Miggins

There's been a slight cheese accident
I'll never forget being totally blown away by the Carravaggio exhibition at the National several years ago. I was so captured by the paintings that I thought I'd buy the book but absolutely everything that made them great was lost in reproduction.
 
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