Mona Lisa secrets revealed

THE enigmatic smile remains a mystery, but French scientists say they have cracked a few secrets of the Mona Lisa.

French researchers studied seven of the Louvre Museum’s Leonardo da Vinci paintings, including the Mona Lisa, to analyse the master’s use of successive ultra-thin layers of paint and glaze — a technique that gave his works their dreamy quality.

Specialists from the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France found that da Vinci painted up to 30 layers of paint on his works to meet his standards of subtlety.

The technique, called “sfumato,” allowed da Vinci to give outlines and contours a hazy quality and create an illusion of depth and shadow. His use of the technique is well-known, but scientific study has been limited.


Lifestyle

So I’ve booked my holidays. And before you ask, yes, I’m basing it around food and wine. I’ll report back in July, but I thought readers might be interested in my plan should you be thinking about a similar holiday.Wines to pick up on a trip to France

Esther N McCarthy is on a roll for the new year with sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes.Wish List: Sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes

They have absolutely nothing really to do with Jerusalem or indeed with any type of artichoke, so what exactly are these curious little tubers?Currabinny Cooks: Exploring the versatility of Jerusalem artichokes

Arlene Harris talks to three women who have stayed on good terms with their ex.The ex-factor: Three women on staying friends with their former partner

More From The Irish Examiner