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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Science fun: The Mona Lisa in 3D

Mona Lisa, the mysterious woman immortalized in Leonardo da Vinci's 16th century masterpiece, had just given birth to her second son when she sat for the painting, a French art expert said Tuesday.

The discovery was made by a team of Canadian scientists who used special infrared and three-dimensional technology to peer through hitherto impenetrable paint layers on the work, which now sits in the Louvre museum in Paris.

Bruno Mottin of the French Museums' Center for Research and Restoration said that on very close examination of the painting it became clear that the Mona Lisa's dress was covered in a thin transparent gauze veil.

"This type of gauze dress ... was typical of the kind worn in early 16th century Italy by women who were pregnant or who had just given birth. This is something that had never been seen up to now because the painting was always judged to be dark and difficult to examine," he told a news conference.

"We can now say that this painting by Leonardo da Vinci was painted to commemorate the birth of the second son of the Mona Lisa, which helps us to date it more precisely to around 1503."
Having been to the Louvre several times, I've always been underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa. It's an average painting at best, but the funniest thing about it is how small it is compared to many of the paintings that hang around it. Anyway, why this painting is so fascinating eludes me, but it's still interesting to see how more can be learned about it even today.
[ Posted at 5:03 PM | Permalink ]


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