Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa painting has fascinated people for centuries. People travel to Paris just to see the painting and can spend many hours there. Onething that attracts people is the mysterious smile of the woman in the picture. This is what makes the Mona Lisa so famous.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has a theoryabout why the smile looks so mysterious. You can only really see the Mona Lisa's smile when you look somewhere else on the painting. This has to do with how the human eye works.
Professor MargaretLivingstone of Harvard University explains that we have two kinds of vision: foveal and peripheral. Foveal vision allows us to see details while peripheral vision lets us see shadows. ProfessorLivingstone explains that we use our peripheral vision in order to see the Mona Lisa's smile. Professor Livingstone believes that artists like da Vinci knew things about human vision that doctors andscientists have only recently discovered.
Pascal Cotte made a 240-megapixel scanner and camera. This lets us see how the Mona Lisa looked in the 1500s, when it was first painted. Since the painting is soold, there is a lot of dirt on it and the colors have become darker. Cotte's camera cleans up the picture. We can see from the cleaned up picture that the Mona Lisa's smile and face looks bigger and hereyes also look a little different. It looks like a different picture!
The Mona Lisa of today is simply not the same Mona Lisa that existed in the 1500s. But her ability to attract millions of peoplefrom all over the world has not changed.
1. What is special about the Mona Lisa?
a. Her smile. C
b. It was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
c. People spend hours looking at it.
d. Its mystery.2. Doctor Livingstone says that we use our foveal vision in order to see Mona Lisa’s smile.
b. False. X
3. What did Pascal Cotte make?
a. A new painting of the Mona Lisa.