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.
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