Mona Lisa's x-ray uncovers da Vinci's painting secrets


French scientists are confident they have uncovered a few secrets of the Mona Lisa.

The researchers x-rayed 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.

They found that da Vinci painted up to 30 layers of paint on his works to meet his standards of perfection.

The technique called "sfumato", allowed da Vinci to give outlines and contours a hazy quality and create an illusion of depth and shadow.

Mona Lisa image courtesy: V.A. Sole/ESRF

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.