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Why I’m Excited to Teach My Daughter That the Mona Lisa Isn’t That Good.

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

Being a college student and a parent at the same time makes you consider both (contrasting?) lifestyles in a different light. In one way, I probably consume material in a different way than a lot of my peers at school.

I’m in pursuit of an advertising degree with a minor in art. Thinking about advertising and its effects on children is scary, so let’s focus on the fun part. I’m excited to teach our daughter what I’m learning about in my art classes.

Through art history classes, you get to observe works of art in a much different time period than when the art was produced. People have different mindsets, ideologies, wants/desires, and priorities through the epochs of time. And I’m excited to teach our little one that we’re living in the time period that the Mona Lisa has far too much clout in both the Art World *twirls mustache* and general public consciousness.

People have written books on books on the Mona Lisa, so I won’t provide too much commentary on the work. Only that while the mechanical application is quite well executed, the concept is lacking compared to other historical works.

The brief history of the work is that basically the French government owned it until the French revolution, after which it was put in the Louvre. Obviously, pre-internet days, and I doubt the media covered art substantially, so the Mona Lisa was relatively well known regionally but lacked the global acclaim it has today. During the 19th century’s over-romanticisation of Leo da Vinci, recognition grew – BUT it wasn’t until it was stolen and an up and coming artist, Pablo Picasso, was accused to have stolen it did it get significant media attention.

I’m aware it's not that groundbreaking to have an opinion against popular opinion, but its exciting to think about how to teach your child to think on their own. Every parent wants their child to have “The Best” education. And picking schools is one thing, but wrapping your mind around what ways of thinking you’re going to introduce them to, and how is just as important.

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