The Mona Lisa

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • employee: a person who is paid to work for a person or company
  • display: to show something in public
  • vandal: a person who destroys property
  • replicate: to make a copy of something

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Mona Lisa is considered the most famous painting in the world. The piece was painted by Italian Leonardo da Vinci. It is currently displayed in the Louvre, a famous art museum in Paris, France. The painting gained international attention when it was from the museum in 1911. It was missing for two years before a former Louvre employee named Vincenzo Peruggia was caught trying to sell the painting. Peruggia had stolen the painting because he believed that it should belong in an Italian museum, rather than a French one. After Peruggia’s arrest, the Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre. However, the Mona Lisa’s fame many vandals. In 1956, a vandal threw acid at the painting, causing damage. It is now kept behind bulletproof glass to it from any acts of vandalism. The Mona Lisa is also one of the most commonly replicated paintings. Since 1911, many artists have tried to recreate the Mona Lisa, and a few older exist that may have been painted by da Vinci’s students.

Comprehension questions

1. The Mona Lisa is displayed in a museum in

Correct! Wrong!

The Mona Lisa is displayed in a museum in France.

2. The Mona Lisa became famous because

Correct! Wrong!

The Mona Lisa became famous because it was stolen in 1911.

3. The older copies of the Mona Lisa may have been painted by

Correct! Wrong!

The older copies of the Mona Lisa may have been painted by da Vinci's students.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. The Mona Lisa’s fame came from the 1911 theft. If Vincenzo Peruggia had stolen a different painting, do you think that painting would have the same popularity that the Mona Lisa has today?

Transcript

The Mona Lisa is considered the most famous painting in the world. The piece was painted by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is currently displayed in the Louvre, a famous art museum in Paris, France. The painting gained international attention when it was stolen from the museum in 1911. It was missing for two years before a former Louvre employee named Vincenzo Peruggia was caught trying to sell the painting. Peruggia had stolen the painting because he believed that it should belong in an Italian museum, rather than a French one. After Peruggia’s arrest, the Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre. However, the Mona Lisa’s fame attracted many vandals. In 1956, a vandal threw acid at the painting, causing damage. It is now kept behind bulletproof glass to protect it from any acts of vandalism. The Mona Lisa is also one of the most commonly replicated paintings. Since 1911, many artists have tried to recreate the Mona Lisa, and a few older copies exist that may have been painted by da Vinci’s students.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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