Scientists Decode Mysterious ‘Mona Lisa’ Smile Once and for All

artnet News | Sarah Cascone:

The world has long been captivated by Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the subject’s enigmatic expression. Part of the famous painting’s widespread appeal is said to be its ambiguity, but participants in a new scientific study almost universally agreed that the portrait’s subject is unequivocally happy.

The study, conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Freiburg, paired a black-and-white version of the Mona Lisa with eight manipulated versions of the image in which the angle of the mouth had been adjusted so that four looked sadder and the others happier. The nine copies were shown to participants in random order 30 times, and the original painting was judged to be happy no less than 97 percent of the time… Read more

Image: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (1503–1517). Courtesy of the Lourve, via Wikipedia Commons

2017-03-14T00:00:00+00:00