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Scientists May Have Discovered the Secret to Mona Lisa’s Smile

No word, however, on why her eyes won't seem to stop following me.
Images via Wikimedia Commons

The secret behind the Mona Lisa's smile is a fabled tale: Why is she smiling? Who is she? And, good God, why do her eyes keep following me? We were resigned to never really knowing, but now, researchers Alessandro Sorenzo and Michelle Newbury from Britain’s Sheffield Hallam University claim to have uncovered the secret.

By cross-referencing the masterpiece with another one of Leonardo da Vinci’s portraits, La Bella Principessa, the research team deduced that the smile fades and reappears all due to your vantage point. The softness and subtlety of the smile within both portraits is a result of an Italian painting technique called “sfumato,” and the ambiguous softness it causes around her mouth accounts for the optical illusion.


This cross-referencing of portraits nearly confirms that da Vinci played with our perceptions on purpose, as the phenomenon occurs in both. La Bella Principessa was made long before the Mona Lisa was in the late 15th Century, but still has the same “uncatchable smile.”

Then again, maybe our original theory about was right.

So, what do you think? Let us know what you think about the allure of both smiles in the comments section below.

Via The Telegraph


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