X-Rays Reveal Da Vinci Technique on Mona Lisa
He used amazingly thin layers to achieve 3-D effect
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Suggested by ducme
Posted Jul 17, 2010 5:13 PM CDT
Leonardo Da Vinci and Mona Lisa.   (AP Photo/Reunion de Musees Nationaux di Parigi and Journal des Arts)

(Newser) – Leonardo da Vinci created the intricate shadows on the Mona Lisa's face by using a meticulous technique called sfumato that results in thin layers of oil and resins, new X-rays of the painting reveal. Da Vinci took the technique to new extremes: His 30 or so layers added a tiny amount of paint, the equivalent of half the width of a human hair, reports Gizmodo. "With this mixture it was possible to create a very impressive aspect of the painting—a realistic, like a 3-D painting," says one of the researchers.