Sunday, October 21, 2007

Divining Da Vinci's Mona Lisa Secrets

The Holy Grail quest for perfect eyebrows consumes Hollywood as if their lives depended on it . Imagine having no eyebrows with millions of curious people gazing upon your face through the centuries, trying to answer the burning question why. The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous interesting paintings known to humankind. Twenty five secrets of the Mona Lisa are laid bare in an exhibit in San Francisco. From the special camera invention of a French engineer, Pascal Cotte, it is now known the the Renaissance's Italian polymath, Leonardo Da Vinci, painted Mona Lisa's eyebrows. Having seen the heavily protected painting in person at the Louvre, the art guide made mention of the missing brows and the latest theory behind the secret smile.

Images from Cotte's 240-megapixel Multi-spectral Imaging camera that uses lucky 13 wavelengths from ultraviolet light to infrared, reveal Mona Lisa had at least one hair on the brow at one time as Da Vinci intended. The Metreon in San Francisco is hosting these new images in an exhibit tour entitled, Da Vinci: an Exhibition of Genius with Cotte's contributions in Mona Lisa's Secrets Revealed.

A zoomed-in image of Mona Lisa's left eye revealed a single brush stroke in the
eyebrow region, Cotte said.

"I am an engineer and scientist, so for me all has to be logical. It was not logical that Mona Lisa does not have any eyebrows or eyelashes," Cotte told LiveScience. "I discovered one hair of the eyebrow."

Another conundrum had been the position of the subject's right arm, which lies across her stomach. This was the first time, Cotte said, that a painter had rendered a subject's arm and wrist in such a position. While other artists had never understood da Vinci's reasoning, they copied it nonetheless.

Cotte discovered the pigment just behind the right wrist matched up perfectly with that of the painted cover that drapes across Mona Lisa's knee. So it did make sense: The forearm and wrist held up one side of a blanket. (PRNewsFoto/RYP Australia.)

Leonardo Da Vinci was meticulous in observing and writing everything down. his schematics for his inventions and master draftsmanship are works of arts in and of themselves. A Da Vinci exhibit is always worth seeing no matter where you are in the world. His notebooks remained unpublished until the twentieth century. The Mona Lisa has inspired bestselling fiction and researched non-fiction, Mona Lisa: Inside the Painting on one of the greatest minds to ever grace the planet, the Master, Leonardo Da Vinci.

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