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I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
Leonardo da Vinci
Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.

The Mona Lisa (La Gioconda or La Joconde, or Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo) is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world."

The painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a poplar panel, and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on permanent display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. The ambiguity of the subject's expression, frequently described as enigmatic, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modeling of forms and the atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of the work.

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Additional Photos by Georgios Topas (TopGeo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4050 W: 94 N: 8446] (38202)
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