The Mona Lisa argument

If every year you were to change the Mona Lisa just one percent, in a hundred years you could end up with a picture of Alfred E. Neuman, the freaky kid who appears on the cover of MAD magazine.

Śrīla Prabhupāda said that an analogy, to succeed, should closely parallel what it’s meant to illustrate. Yes, if every year you were to take the Mona Lisa one percent farther away from da Vinci’s original, in a hundred years you could have a monster. But what if instead of going farther away you went closer? That’s a more suitable analogy. That’s what the art of restoration is all about—bringing a work closer to what the artist originally gave.

Restored by Cecile Wendover Clover,