In what can only be described a one of the longest NY Times articles ever, it turns out a scientific study of the Mona Lisa shows that Leonardo da Vinci changed his mind about the composition of the famous painting.
French and Canadian researchers used photos with invisible infrared light and a special infrared camera to reveal details not visible with the eye.
“The sitter in the Louvre Museum’s 16th-century masterpiece, believed to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a Florentine silk merchant, was originally painted wearing a large transparent overdress made from gauze, they said. Under normal light, part of the garment is visible on the right-hand side of the painting, but appears simply to be part of the background.”
The imaging also shows some of the sitter’s hair was rolled into a small bun and tucked under a tiny bonnet with a veil. Centuries worth of grime and dirt hid the details of the painting.
“You’re seeing a lot more fine detail, showing that this remarkable painting is actually more remarkable than we believed,” John M. Taylor, an imaging scientist and conservator with the National Research Council of Canada, told the NY Times.
If you’re in for a long read. Check out the story.