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L.H.O.O.Q, Mona Lisa with moustache

Marcel Duchamp

L.H.O.O.Q, Mona Lisa with moustache

Marcel Duchamp
  • Date: 1919
  • Style: Dada
  • Genre: portrait
  • Media: pencil, ready-made
  • Tag: allegories-and-symbols, female-portraits, Mona-Lisa
  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.4 cm
  • Order Oil Painting
    reproduction

First conceived in 1919, the work is one of what Duchamp referred to as readymades, or more specifically an assisted ready-made. The readymade involves taking mundane, often utilitarian objects not generally considered to be art and transforming them, by adding to them, changing them, or (as in the case of his most famous work 'Fountain') simply renaming them and placing them in a gallery setting. In L.H.O.O.Q. the objet trouvé ("found object") is a cheap postcard reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa onto which Duchamp drew a moustache and beard in pencil and appended the title. Although many say it was pioneered by him, in 1883 Eugène Bataille created a Mona Lisa smoking a pipe, titled Le rire.

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