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The Secret of the Mona Lisa

Art by some of the most famous painters in history, such as Leonardo DaVinci (who painted, among other things, the Mona Lisa) is often described in writings by their contemporaries. When the paintings that have been written about can no longer be found, art historians begin...
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Mona Lisa Mystery

Researchers now know who she was, and they know that Leonardo da Vinci painted her portrait to commemorate the birth of her second son. But what they don't know is how he did it, because on close examination, there seem to be no brushstrokes. Could it have been an earlier photograph, as the Shroud of Turin is suspected of being?


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That Mona Lisa Smile

Why have we been fascinated for so many years by Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile? It may be due to random noise in our brain.

Philip Cohen reports in New Scientist that Christopher Tyler and Leonid Kontsevich manipulated a computer image of the painting by adding random visual "noise" (like the "snow" seen on a badly tuned TV). They then...

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Why are We Drawn to Mona Lisa's Smile?

The Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1500s, is famous for her mysterious smile. We're fascinated by the smile because it disappears when it's looked at directly, says Margaret Livingstone of Harvard University. It's only apparent when we look at other parts of the painting, because of the way the human eye processes visual...

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