© Andy Warhol / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.
In 1963, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa was exhibited for the first time in New York, launching a media frenzy that caught the attention of Andy Warhol. Amused by the hype of the portrait, Warhol unveiled his own version of the art historical sensation, repeating her smiling face 30 times in Thirty Are Better Than One (1963). In the 1980s, Warhol returned to the greats of art history, obsessively creating his own Pop renditions of masterworks by the Renaissance painters Sandro Botticelli, Piero Della Francesca, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Paolo Uccello, as well as the Modern icons Giorgio de Chirico, Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, and Pablo Picasso. Through his reproductions of iconic works, Warhol showed that a famous artwork can be just as commoditized as a can of Campbell’s soup.