Researchers say they found the secret behind Mona Lisa’s vanishing smile

Are you aware of the roaming phenomenon that Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting does possess "uncatchable" or "vanishing smile"?
mystery of mona lisa painting smile
Photo: PRNewsFoto/RYP Australia, via Live Science
It is so because according to a group of British researchers, Mona Lisa's smile seems to disappear as the viewer looks at her mouth directly.

On the other hand, the lips would tend to "slant delicately upwards" if the viewer focuses on the eyes.

In order to give some light on the prevailing mystery behind the painting's unusually illustrated smile, the researchers conducted a study to generate relevant conclusions.

They did by comparing Mona Lisa with another painting of da Vinci, a recently discovered masterpiece - "La Bella Principessa".

In the findings, the researchers learned that da Vinci used one common painting technique in the two arts - "sfumato". It means, soft or pale in Italian. It is rendered by applying subtle colors and shades around the mouths of the subjects to come up with an optical illusion.

Notably, Leonardo da Vinci somewhat utilized well the wonders of peripheral vision and direct sight.

"La Bella Principessa’s mouth appears to change slant depending on both the viewing distance and the level of blur applied to a digital version of the portrait", the researchers wrote in a paper published by "Vision Research".

"It was found that a perceived change in the slant of La Bella Principessa’s mouth influences her expression of contentment.", the research group added.

Meanwhile, did you also know that, according to a French engineer Pascal Cotte, as per his research - Mona Lisa's left eye only has a single brush stroke for the supposed eyebrows region?

"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.. I discovered one hair of the eyebrow", Cotte said.

Now it's your turn to take on a Mona Lisa painting or image online and see the magic of her puzzling smile.

Do you know other trivial things surrounding the Mona Lisa painting?

Source: Live Science, Calgary Herald

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