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In response to the announcement of the discovery of this document, Vincent Delieuvin, the Louvre representative, stated "Leonardo da Vinci was painting, in 1503, the portrait of a Florentine lady by the name of Lisa del Giocondo. Unfortunately, we cannot be absolutely certain that this portrait of Lisa del Giocondo is the painting of the Louvre." In French, the title La Joconde has the same meaning.Before that discovery, scholars had developed several alternative views as to the subject of the painting.The first would have been commissioned by Francesco del Giocondo circa 1503, had flanking columns, have been left unfinished and have been in Salai’s possession in 1525.The second, commissioned by Giuliano de Medici circa 1513, without the flanking columns, would have been sold by Salai to Francis I in 1518 and be the one in the Louvre today.Dated October 1503, the note was written by Leonardo's contemporary Agostino Vespucci.This note likens Leonardo to renowned Greek painter Apelles, who is mentioned in the text, and states that Leonardo was at that time working on a painting of Lisa del Giocondo.The title of the painting, which is known in English as Mona Lisa, comes from a description by Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari, who wrote "Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife." Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as "ma donna" – similar to "Ma’am", "Madam", or "my lady" in English. The title of the painting, though traditionally spelled "Mona" (as used by Vasari Vasari's account of the Mona Lisa comes from his biography of Leonardo published in 1550, 31 years after the artist's death.It has long been the best-known source of information on the provenance of the work and identity of the sitter.
Other later copies of the Mona Lisa, such as that in the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore also display large flanking columns.The theft was not discovered until the next day, when painter Louis Béroud walked into the museum and went to the Salon Carré where the Mona Lisa had been on display for five years, only to find four iron pegs on the wall.Béroud contacted the head of the guards, who thought the painting was being photographed for promotional purposes.In December 2015, it was reported that French scientist Pascal Cotte had found a hidden portrait underneath the surface of the painting using reflective light technology.describe the subject as smiling; the subject in Cotte’s portrait displays no smile.