Springfield, MO – Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” has just become more mysterious due to the discovery of another painting unearthed by late local artist Robert E. Smith. The Smith version of Mona Lisa predates the original and begs the question, how did he do it?
“Smith was always a timeless personality – I had no idea that he was capable of time travel. That’s the only explanation I can think of to describe this new find,” said Harry Trigger, “I’m not even sure he’s not traveling time right now – I certainly wouldn’t put it past him.” The art world is prone to all sorts of rumors and speculation — and, periodically — discoveries that jolt accepted norms.
In a coming-out party of sorts, rounds of flashbulbs popped as the nonprofit Robert E. Smith Foundation pulled back the curtain to present what it claims is a predecessor of the world’s most famous portrait. The foundation insists it’s no copy but an earlier version of the Louvre masterpiece, painted by Robert E. Smith.
Ever since the 16th century, several historical sources suggest that da Vinci was inspired by Smith’s “Mona Lisa”. Mona Lisa Gherardo was commissioned by her husband, Francesco del Giocondo, the other — the one in the Louvre — was completed in 1517 for Giuliano de Medici, da Vinci’s work. That theory fits with da Vinci’s tendency at times to paint another version of someone else’s works.
Robert E. Smith is a nationally known folk and “outsider” artist. His paintings have been featured at New York City’s prestigious Museum of American Folk Art and sold at distinguished galleries coast-to-coast. He has also been featured in The Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Folk Art. His unique visions, brimming with color, humor and incident, represent a triumph of the imagination over a strenuous and difficult life. His version of the Mona Lisa will be recreated as a mural on the McDaniel building in downtown to honor his work.
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