Scientists Crack the Mona Lisa’s Artistic Code

July 22, 2010 – 11:41 am | by Steve
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The Mona Lisa, arguably the world’s most well-known painting, hangs by the walls of many households.  Its beauty and mystery continues to marvel a lot of people, so much that a bunch of scientists decided to use modern technology to decipher the method used by Leonardo da Vinci in constructing the piece.  They didn’t only figure out the style used, the venture also managed to boost da Vinci’s genius even further.

Scientists had to use an x-ray machine to analyze the layers of paint used.  Sfumato – the application of thin paint layers – as it turned out was the method applied, which was a popular technique during the Renaissance era.  Da Vinci displays remarkable intricacy, as the painted layers are a lot thinner than a strand of hair.

Philippe Water, the fellow responsible for x-raying the Mona Lisa, had to use a very precise apparatus, so he could see the various layers used in the painting.  By magnifying certain parts, he found out that da Vinci used a thin combination of oil and colors.  Surprisingly, the brushstrokes applied were still too hard to determine.  Now the world of science agrees that such precision could only be crafted by the hands of a genius.  Besides, how can you question a guy who conceptualized modern aircraft at a time when horse-pulled carriages were the primary means of transport?

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