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Some argued that Lisa del Giocondo was the subject of a different portrait, identifying at least four other paintings as the Mona Lisa referred to by Vasari.
are of the opinion that the painting is characteristic of Leonardo’s style in the final years of his life, post-1513.
As a result, it was originally thought that the Mona Lisa in the Louvre had side columns and had been cut.
In 1516, Leonardo was invited by King François I to work at the Clos Lucé near the king's castle in Amboise.
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.
Circa 1504, Raphael executed a pen and ink sketch, today in the Louvre museum, in which the subject is flanked by large columns,.During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) it was moved from the Louvre to the Brest Arsenal.During World War II, Mona Lisa was again removed from the Louvre and taken safely, first to Château d'Amboise, then to the Loc-Dieu Abbey and Château de Chambord, then finally to the Ingres Museum in Montauban.A few hours later, Béroud checked back with the Section Chief of the Louvre who confirmed that the Mona Lisa was not with the photographers.The Louvre was closed for an entire week during the investigation.
French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who had once called for the Louvre to be "burnt down", came under suspicion and was arrested and imprisoned. Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia had stolen the Mona Lisa by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet, and walking out with it hidden under his coat after the museum had closed.