Mona Lisa has an x-ray
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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

  • 16 Jul 2010