Mona Lisa's Pounce Marks Found

October 6 2020

Image of Mona Lisa's Pounce Marks Found


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

French scientists examining the Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa have unveiled the results of recent research into this iconic painting. Multispectral cameras have revealed that Leonardo did not draw the famous portrait free-hand, but used pouncing instead (called spolvero in Italian). This involves using drawings, with holes pricked into the paper, and then black chalk is rubbed in to allow images to be transferred onto panel. This was a technique used widely during the Renaissance.

High resolution images and scans have been published (pictured) showing these marks. It's particularly obvious where her hands meet, for example.

It seems that this investigation was initially commissioned purely to find out what pigments and measurements of colour Leonardo had used. Once work began, however, it is clear that Lionel Simonot and the Pprime Institute had discovered something of equal if not of greater interest.

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