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Inspired by the beauty of the Jacques-Louis David painting 'Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces', I thought I would see how the most famous painting in the world looks 'à la Lake'. I refer of course to the 'Mona Lisa' painted almost 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and on display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France. I found many many images of the painting on the WWW. You would think they would all look the same. Not so! Each scan gives different tones in a surprisingly wide range. I present here what to me is the most pleasing scan, but to be honest about it, I really do not know which of all the choices is the closest to the real thing. I saw the painting in Paris many years ago, but that does not equip me to select the most accurate representation.

The painting is surprisingly small, roughly 21" by 30" (77 x 53 cm.). And located as it is, in a vast gallery (image below), the painting looks even tinier. It is now in an alcove & while clearly visible is protected behind glass. Did you know it was stolen from the Louvre in 1911? In the future it will have its own gallery, I understand. And it may very well do so now, in July 2009, as this page must get moved to a new location or else just vanish. It was painted over the long period of 1503-1506, in oil on a thin backing of poplar wood. In France it is known as La Gioconda, after the presumed name of the lady's husband, Francesco di Bartolomeo di Zanoli del Giocondo. This particular image is not the one on the Louvre's own website, but is rather from Carol Gerten-Jackson's wonderful "CGFA" art site.

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