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New images uncover 25 secrets about the Mona Lisa, including proof that Leonardo da Vinci gave her eyebrows, solving a long-held mystery.
The images are part of an exhibition, “Mona Lisa Secrets Revealed,” which features new research by French engineer Pascal Cotte and debuts in the United states at the Metreon Center in San Francisco, where it will remain through the end of this year. The Mona Lisa showcase is function of a larger exhibition chosen “Da Vinci: An Exhibition of Genius.”
Cotte, founder of Lumiere Applied science, scanned the painting with a 240-megapixel Multi-spectral Imaging Camera he invented, which uses 13 wavelengths from ultraviolet light to infrared. The resulting images skin away centuries of varnish and other alterations, shedding calorie-free on how the creative person brought the painted figure to life and how she appeared to da Vinci and his contemporaries.
“The face of Mona Lisa appears slightly wider and the smile is unlike and the eyes are different,” Cotte said. “The smile is more accentuated I would say.” [Why Does Mona Lisa’south Smile Change?]
Mona Lisa mysteries
A zoomed-in image of Mona Lisa’s left center revealed a single castor stroke in the countenance region, Cotte said.
“I am an engineer and scientist, and then for me all has to be logical. It was non logical that Mona Lisa does non have any eyebrows or eyelashes,” Cotte told LiveScience. “I discovered 1 hair of the eyebrow.”
Another conundrum had been the position of the subject’s right arm, which lies across her stomach. This was the first fourth dimension, Cotte said, that a painter had rendered a subject’southward arm and wrist in such a position. While other artists had never understood da Vinci’s reasoning, they copied it yet. [Photos: Anatomy Meets Art in Da Vinci’s Drawings]
Cotte discovered the paint just behind the right wrist matched up perfectly with that of the painted cover that drapes across Mona Lisa’s knee. And then it did make sense: The forearm and wrist held up ane side of a blanket.
“The wrist of the correct mitt is upwards high on the stomach. Simply if yous await deeply in the infrared yous understand that she holds a cover with her wrist,” Cotte said.
Behind a painting
The infrared images also revealed da Vinci’south preparatory drawings that lie behind layers of varnish and paint, showing that the Renaissance man was also human.
“If you look at the left paw yous see the showtime position of the finger, and he changed his mind for another position,” Cotte said. “Even Leonardo da Vinci had hesitation.”
Other revelations include:
- Lace on Mona Lisa’s dress
- The transparency of the veil shows da Vinci commencement painted a landscape then used transparency techniques to paint the veil atop information technology.
- A change in the position of the left index and eye finger.
- The elbow was repaired from damage due to a rock thrown at the painting in 1956.
- The blanket covering Mona Lisa’southward knees as well covers her tummy.
- The left finger was not completely finished.
- A blotch marker on the corner of the middle and chin are varnish accidents, countering claims that Mona Lisa was ill.
- And the Mona Lisa was painted on uncut poplar board, contrary to speculations.
In the larger moving-picture show, Cotte said when he stands back and looks upward at the enlarged infrared image of Mona Lisa, her beauty and mystique are apparent.
“If yous are in front end of this huge enlargement of Mona Lisa, you understand instantly why Mona Lisa is so famous,” Cotte said. He added, information technology’southward something you accept to see with your ain eyes.