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23 October, 2007

Give us a grin

Using a 240 MP scanner to generate a 22GB digital image, photographer/engineer Pascal Cotte claims to have made 17 new discoveries about da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa', including the history of key details.

Apparently, the portrait did once include eyebrows and eyelashes, and the iconic enigmatic smile was different in da Vinci's original, underlying composition.

Academics have expressed doubts about some interpretations of the new data – Cotte found one brushstroke implying one hair on the brow and extrapolated, and I get the impression Cotte's suggested reconstruction of the 16th Century colouration attracts particular scepticism – but the raw evidence itself is interesting.

'Mona Lisa Revealed' may offer further (possibly one-sided) information, but at the time of writing, the site's down.

[Via BoingBoing.]

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