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"A classic type, common to many Renaissance paintings is the ’student.’ A favored follower, a protege or disciple, is always portrayed as very youthful, long-haired and clean-shaven...Throughout the Renaissance, artists portray St. John in this fashion. He is the ’disciple Jesus loved’ ....Only a colossal fool would paint a heresy where the monks could study it day after day. While no evidence suggest that Leonardo held the church in contempt, proof abounds that he was no fool." (Elizabeth Lev, "The Real Leonardo")

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