The Patriotic Theft of the Mona Lisa

The Patriotic Theft of the Mona Lisa

mona lisa picture frame

The Mona Lisa, perhaps the most famous painting in the world, wasn’t always so well known. While it was always well regarded in artistic circles, for much of its history, it’s only claim to fame was its painter- Leonardo Da Vinci. Sold into the French royal family after Da Vinci’s death, several important historical figures did recognize the value of the work. King Louis IV of France has it on display at his personal palace at Versailles, while Napoleon hung the painting in his own bedroom for a short time. Yet for all this, most people on the street wouldn’t be able to name the Mona Lisa if they saw it in 1911.

It was this very history that seemed to bother Vincenzo Peruggia. He, along with many of his fellow Italian countrymen, thought the work should have long ago returned to Da Vinci’s homeland of Italy. Had Da Vinci not been in France when he died, the painting would likely have remained in the country, in some form of fashion. As such, Peruggia thought it only right that the painting be returned to Italy by any means necessary. Not to say he wasn’t going to make some money for his trouble, but the money wasn’t his chief concern.

His plan was simple, and likely only worked due to the painting’s considerable lower profile at the time. Peruggia got a job at the Louvre which allowed him to learn his way around the building- and to learn the uniforms of the employees. Though he no longer worked there by time the theft took place, he did enter and leave through a service entrance, using his knowledge of both the paintings security and the layout of the museum to escape without arousing any suspicion.

Another sign of the paintings lower profile was the fact that its theft went unnoticed for over a day. Though some did note its absence, all assumed the painting was being cleaned or photographed elsewhere, as was common at the time. It was not until an irritable patron demanded to see the painting that authorities noticed it was completely gone.

It was one of the first high-profile art thefts of the era. Though the painting itself wasn’t well known, the painter was. Newspapers and other media reproduced the pilfered painting, making it recognizable the world over. This newfound fame the painting enjoyed also made it far harder to sell, since it was now not just more well-known, but specifically for well-known being stolen. And indeed, the painting was recovered and Peruggia arrested after attempting to sell it in Florence.

The painting would go on display briefly in Florence before being returned to Paris. However, it very much seemed like the floodgates had been opened. The Mona Lisa was the most famous painting in the world now, and would remain so till the modern day. This fame would make it even more of a target in years to come. Not just from thieves- the painting would be attacked several times in the 20th Century. Peruggia himself, however, received a sentence of less than one year, and went on to live a normal life.

Farewell to Football Season

Farewell to Football Season

It’s been a few days. Many of us are still reeling from what proved to be an exciting comeback game for the Patriots. Now that the sting isn’t so fresh, I find easier to appreciate the incredible overtime comeback the Patriots pulled out in the second half.

Things are also settling down over here, so we’re going to end our 20% off promotion for NFL mats. We’ll still have the colors in stock for a little while, but we are ending the promotion today.

In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated with any other changes or sales!

The Dust Settles…

The Dust Settles…

falcons lose superbowl

It’s with a heavy heart that I write this. Super Bowl LI Final Score- Patriots 34, Falcons 28.

For a moment, it seemed like David might beat Goliath. The Falcons pushed to an early lead that they maintained till late in the game. The Falcons defense, which had been a major concern for the team going in, not only managed to hold the Patriots down, but scored a touchdown themselves off an interception by Robert Alford.

But then Tom Brady came to show that he can back up his reputation. In a comeback for the ages, he scored 25 points in the second half. This included four touchdowns and two much needed conversions. Ryan looked poised to put his team in field goal range and bring their lead up, but he was unexpectedly sacked and lost possession, leading to a fumble and recovery by the Patriots.

With nearly no time left, the Patriots scored the second conversion and tied the game, leading to the first ever overtime in Super Bowl history. Sudden death rules apply- the first team to score wins. The Patriots won the coin toss and then beautifully brought the ball down the field. The Falcons defense, which had been so strong before, now faltered, and the Patriots fought their way into the endzone without losing possession.

While I would have been much happier with a Falcons win, I’m not going to begrudge the Patriots their win. They played an amazing game in the second half. Even after being sacked several times, Brady kept his head strait and found openings in the Falcons defense to keep the ball moving forward. Edelman and White in particular proved invaluable with several incredible catches and drives respectively. I can appreciate good playing not matter who’s doing it, and it’s hard to feel too bad losing to a team that came together as well as the Patriots in the second half.

In the meantime, Patriots fans, Falcons fans, and all NFL fans, you can continue to save 20%* on all NFL team mat colors, including custom mats.


*Limit one use per customer, applied to subtotal of all football themed mats for orders up to $500.

Back in the Day… with the Patriots

Back in the Day… with the Patriots

It’s Friday, and the air is crackling with energy in Atlanta, in Boston, in everywhere in between. But since there’s still some time before kickoff, we’re going to take a look at the Patriots Super Bowl history.

There’s no way around it- the Patriots have a more impressive Super Bowl pedigree. Having gone to the Super Bowl eight times, dating back to Super Bowl XX in the mid 80’s. Their record at the Big Game is tied, 4-4, with a number of those wins coming with Brady himself leading the team. Since there’s a lot to cover, we’ll focus on their more recent games.

Super Bowl XXXVI is, in many ways, the game that made both the Patriots and Brady the forces they are today. With the game tied as time wound down, Brady refused to accept the result. With a bold rush, he managed to bring his team close enough for a field goal to break the tie and win the game.

The Patriots and Brady followed up with two more wins, including in 2004, which proved to be a good season for Boston, with the Red Sox finally breaking their curse. However, after this impressive string of victories, their luck turned. Though still an impressive team, they were not able to topple the Giants and Eli Manning in 2007 and 2011, though both games were close.

This proved to be a small setback, though, as the Patriots reclaimed the title in 2014 against the Seahawks in yet another close game, with Brady bringing the team back from 10 points behind going into the fourth quarter.

All in all, the Patriots, and Brady in particular, have quite a legacy to live up to. Moreover, the possibility of a winning Super Bowl record is sure to help focus the team. That said, in many ways the past all prologue. While Ryan and the Falcons may not have a much of a record to look back on, the only thing that really matter is who plays better on Sunday. Perhaps Brady will tilt his Super Bowl record positive, or perhaps the Falcons will get their first ever. In any case, it promises to be an awesome game!

In the meantime, Matboard and More will continue our Superbowl Promotion, with 20% off any NFL mats until Sunday. We can handle both standard and custom orders, and even exact color matches in acid free mats for all the playoff teams, including our the Patriots.

Back in the Day… with the Falcons

Back in the Day… With the Falcons

It’s another day closer, but still so far away. Today and tomorrow, we’re going to kill a little time looking at the histories of this year’s Super Bowl teams. First up- our hometown Falcons.

Sadly, though, it is a short history. Only once before have the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl. Back in the 1999, during Super Bowl XXXIII, the Falcons faced off against the previous year’s Champions, led by legendary quarterback and Nerf Football icon, John Elway. Elway was ending what would prove to be an all-time great career with a bang, hoping for back to back Super Bowl wins.

The Falcons, meanwhile, had everything to prove. If the Broncos were all but expected to at least play in the Super Bowl year, the Falcons were a complete surprise. Coming off a series of weak seasons, that year had been different for the Falcons. Sporting an impressive record going into the Playoffs, they scored a nail biting victory against the Vikings in overtime to make it into the Big Game.

An early lead looked exciting for the Falcons, with a field goal coming early. However, the Broncos soon took the lead, and the Falcons never managed to regain it. Though they wound up with a respectable 19 points, the 34 points for the Broncos proved to be a decisive victory.

It’s been almost 20 years since that day. The Falcons are back, once again facing off against returning champions led by a legendary quarterback. We’re hoping for different results this time around though! Go Falcons!

Tomorrow, we’ll have a look at the Super Bowl history of the Patriots.

In the meantime, Matboard and More will continue our Superbowl Promotion, with 20% off any NFL mats until Sunday. We can handle both standard and custom orders, and even exact color matches in acid free mats for all the playoff teams, including our hometown Falcons.