On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened—Leonardo da
Vinci’s Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than twenty-four hours passed
before museum officials realized she was gone. The prime suspects were as
shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young
provocateurs of a new art. As French detectives using the latest methods of
criminology, including fingerprinting, tried to trace the thieves, a burgeoning
international media hyped news of the heist.
No story captured the imagination of the world quite like
this one. Thousands flocked to the Louvre to see the empty space where the
painting had hung. They mourned as if Mona Lisa were a lost loved one, left
flowers and notes, and set new attendance records. For more than two years,
Mona Lisa’s absence haunted the art world, provoking the question: Was she lost
forever? A century later, questions still linger.
Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and
perplexing art theft ever committed. R. A. Scotti’s riveting, ingeniously
realized account is itself a masterly portrait of a world in transition.
Combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, Scotti turns the
tantalizing clues into a story of the painting’s transformation into the most
familiar and lasting icon of all time. Download and start listening now!