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Unformatted text preview: Most critics agree that Leonardo began work on the Mona Lisa while he was still in Florence, probably around 1505. The famous debate around the painting's subject has raged for years: recently, some have used computer technology to compare the portrait with Leonardo's own self-portrait and suggest that the Mona Lisa is a female version of Leonardo; other, more reasonable arguments assert that the figure is the wife of Francesco del Gioconda. But if the sitter was not Leonardo himself, she never received the portrait, for when Leonardo finally went to France, he took it with him. After his death, the French Royal Family kept the painting, until the French Revolution, at which point the Louvre was opened to the public and the painting became the property of the French people. Not only has the Mona Lisa been damaged by darkening layers of dirt and varnish, but it...
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- Fall '10