French scientists crack secrets of Mona Lisa
The enigmatic smile remains a mystery, but French scientists say they have cracked a few secrets of Lisa “Mona”. French researchers studied seven Louvre Museum Leonardo da Vinci paintings, including Lisa “Mona” to analyze the use of control successive ultra-thin layers of paint and varnish – a technique that gave his works their quality of dream.
The specialists of the Centre for Research and Restoration of Museums of France noted that da Vinci painted up to 30 layers of paint on its work to meet its standards of subtlety. Added up, all the layers are less than 40 micrometers, or about half the thickness of a human hair, the researcher Philip Walter, said Friday.
The technique, called “sfumato”, has given da Vinci and the blurred outlines of a quality and create an illusion of depth and shadow. His use of the technique is well known, but a scientific study on this subject has been limited because the tests often required samples of the paint.
French researchers have used a noninvasive technique called X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to study the layers of paint and chemical composition.
They brought their tool specially developed high-tech in the museum where it was closed and studied the portraits of faces, which are emblematic of sfumato. The project was developed in collaboration with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble.
The tool is so precise that “now we can discover the mixture of pigments used by the artist for each coat of paint,” said Walter The Associated Press. “And it’s very, very important for the understanding of technology.”
The analysis also shows pictures of different da Vinci is constantly striving for new methods, Walter said. In the Lisa “Mona” Da Vinci manganese oxide in its nuances. In others, he used copper. Often, they use glazes, but not always.