Jeffrey Smart

Stop 23 of 32

A corrugated iron fence pasted with layers and layers of old posters, a peeling poster of the Mona Lisa on top, takes up the bottom half of the painting. Behind the fence two palm trees and an office block rise into a cloudless blue sky.

Jeffrey Smart
Corrugated Gioconda

Creation date: 1976

Corrugated Gioconda
1976 Tuscany, Italy
oil on canvas
80.8 x 116.6 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1976
© The Estate of Jeffrey Smart


Music composed by Annika Moses

When my dad was a young man, he used to be in a band called the corrugations. I went digging for some old cassette recordings, and the cassette has degraded like the posters pasted on Smart’s fence.

In the initial study for Corrugated Gioconda Smart developed the composition by painting directly onto the cover of a 1970s savings bank calendar. He incorporated a reproduction of the painting The gift of the ring, wedding scene between Sienese noble families 1473 by Italian artist Sano di Pietro, using the text from the image to delineate the corrugations of a metal fence. In the final work, Smart replaced di Pietro’s image with one of the most recognisable icons of European culture, Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa (1503–1519). Depicted as a torn poster, a reproduction of a reproduction, Smart draws our attention to the power of art and images across time.