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Dada, also known as “hobby-horse” in French, is an artistic and literary movement that arose in Europe, primarily in Zurich. It signaled a drift from traditional modes of artistic creation expressing revulsion for the 1st World war and the degenerate bourgeois ideals. Some of the notable artists that were part of this movement were – Jean Arp, Richard Hülsenbeck, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, and Emmy Hennings. Art techniques such as collage, photomontage, assemblage and ready-mades (such as the Fountain, a urinal created by Marcel Duchamp) were deployed by the Dadaists. Creation of absurd and disturbing images was a deliberate attempt to jolt the public and upturn the real world. So, the movement was anti-aesthetic, anti-realistic and anti-idealistic. The movement spread gradually from Zurich to other parts of Europe and later to New York.

L.H.O.O.Q. is a cheap postcard reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa onto which Duchamp drew a moustache and beard in pencil. In addition, the name of the piece, L.H.O.O.Q. (in French elle a chaud au cul) is a pun literally meaning "She is hot in the arse".


Marcel Duchamps, L.H.O.O.Q. (Elle a chaud au cul), 1919, postcard reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.