25 secrets of the Mona Lisa unveiled
Washington, Oct 19: New images have unveiled 25 secrets of the Mona Lisa, including evidence that the masterpiece's creator Leonardo Da Vinci gave her eyebrows, solving the long time mystery. The images are part of an exhibition, "Mona Lisa Secrets Revealed," which showcases new research by French engineer Pascal Cotte.
The images are part of an exhibition, "Mona Lisa Secrets Revealed," which showcases new research by French engineer Pascal Cotte. The Mona Lisa showcase is part of a larger exhibition called "Da Vinci: An Exhibition of Genius."
Cotte, founder of Lumiere Technology, screened the painting with a 240-megapixel Multi-spectral Imaging Camera he invented.
The resulting images peel centuries of varnish and other alterations, showing how the artist brought the painted figure to life.
"The face of Mona Lisa appears slightly wider and the smile is different and the eyes are different," Live Science quoted Cotte, as saying.
"The smile is more accentuated I would say.
"A zoomed-in image of Mona Lisa's left eye revealed a single brush stroke in the eyebrow region, I am an engineer and scientist, so for me all has to be logical. It was not logical that Mona Lisa does not have any eyebrows or eyelashes. I discovered one hair of the eyebrow,' he added.
Another puzzle had been the position of the subject's right arm, which rests across her stomach.
According to Cotte, this was the first time an artist painted an image in this position.
"The wrist of the right hand is up high on the stomach. But if you look deeply in the infrared you understand that she holds a cover with her wrist," Cotte said.
The infrared images also revealed da Vinci's preparatory sketching that showed that even the master painter was human.
"If you look at the left hand you see the first position of the finger, and he changed his mind for another position," Cotte said. "Even Leonardo da Vinci had hesitation."
Other revelations include:
The lace on Mona Lisa's dress
The transparency of the veil means Da Vinci first painted a landscape and then employed transparency techniques to paint the veil on top of it.
A change in the position of the left index and middle finger.
The elbow was repaired from damage due to a rock thrown at the painting in 1956.
The blanket covering Mona Lisa's knees also covers her stomach. The left finger was not completely finished.
A blotch mark on the corner of the eye and chin are varnish accidents, challenging ideas that Mona Lisa was sick.
And the Mona Lisa was painted on uncut poplar board, contrary to existing beliefs.
In the larger picture, Cotte said once one sees the enlarged picture of Mona Lisa, it is quite obvious why the she is so famous.
"If you are in front of this huge enlargement of Mona Lisa, you understand instantly why Mona Lisa is so famous. It's something you have to see with your own eyes. " Cotte said.