Mona Lisa

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Activists Toss Soup on Glass-Covered Mona Lisa

Protest at the Louvre in Paris was over sustainable farming

(Newser) - Two climate activists hurled soup Sunday at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum in Paris and shouted slogans advocating for a sustainable food system, per the AP . The stunt—the latest in a series of similar actions —came amid protests by French farmers over several...

Secretive Mona Lisa Gives Up a Secret
Secretive Mona Lisa
Gives Up a Secret

Secretive Mona Lisa Gives Up a Secret

Da Vinci gave the masterpiece her own distinctive chemical signature

(Newser) - The Mona Lisa has given up another secret. Using X-rays to peer into the chemical structure of a tiny speck of the celebrated work of art, scientists have gained new insight into the techniques that Leonardo da Vinci used to paint his groundbreaking portrait. The research, published Wednesday in the...

Historian Claims to Have Solved a Mona Lisa Mystery

Bridge above subject's shoulder still stands in Tuscany, says Silvano Vinceti

(Newser) - Few eyes gazing upon Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa likely notice the tiny bridge painted just above the subject's left shoulder, on the right side of the painting. But that piece of architecture stood out to Italian historian Silvano Vinceti, who believes he's identified it as a...

Man Disguised as Woman Throws Cake at Mona Lisa

It was apparently done in the name of the planet

(Newser) - A man seemingly disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a piece of cake at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre museum and shouted at people to think of planet Earth. The Paris prosecutor's office said Monday that the man, 36, was detained following...

This Person Really Wanted to See the Mona Lisa

Bidder paid $98K to get closer glimpse of da Vinci's famous piece during annual inspection

(Newser) - How much would it be worth to get to see that Mona Lisa smile up close and personal, without any fellow gawkers blocking your view? According to one person, $98,000 . That's how much a bidder paid for the chance to watch as da Vinci's famous painting is...

Please, Move the Mona Lisa
Time to Go, Mona Lisa

Time to Go, Mona Lisa

Columnist Jason Farago is tired of the selfie throngs at the Louvre

(Newser) - The Louvre needs to give the Mona Lisa her walking papers, argues Jason Farago in a New York Times op-ed. The painting is "the Kim Kardashian of 16th-century Italian portraiture" and "only moderately interesting" as a work of art, he writes. But you wouldn't know that by...

Study: Mona Lisa's Gaze Doesn't Live Up to Legend

The 'Mona Lisa Effect' is a 'misnomer,' researchers find

(Newser) - It's a "scientific legend": that Mona Lisa's eyes follow you wherever you go, a phenomenon so well known that it birthed the term "Mona Lisa Effect." Except it's not true, at least in the case of Leonardo da Vinci's painting. That's the...

Doc Says Disease, Not Da Vinci, Shaped Mona Lisa's Smile

Hypothyroidism theory points to swelled hands, weak facial muscles

(Newser) - The secret behind the world's most famous smile apparently escaped as a cardiologist spent 1.5 hours in line for a full viewing at the Louvre. "The enigma of the 'Mona Lisa' can be resolved by a simple medical diagnosis of a hypothyroidism-related illness," Mandeep Mehra...

4 Famous Sites Likely to Underwhelm
4 Famous Sites
Likely to Underwhelm

4 Famous Sites Likely to Underwhelm

See Egypt's pyramids, then grab a pizza

(Newser) - You might think trips to see Stonehenge or Egypt's pyramids are worth the thousands of dollars in airfare and other travel expenses. These are majestic, ancient structures, after all. Sadly, there's more to such famous spots than most picturesque Instagram posts suggest. Four destinations likely to underwhelm, according...

Experts: Nude Mona Lisa Is a Real Da Vinci

Sketch suggests he created different version of painting

(Newser) - Art experts have found tantalizing clues that suggest 500-year-old rumors Leonardo da Vinci painted a nude version of the Mona Lisa are true. A charcoal drawing of a nude Mona Lisa that has been sitting in a museum north of Paris for 150 years is now believed to be the...

Scientists Think They Figured Out Mona Lisa's Smile

German researchers say people overwhelmingly think famous smile is happy

(Newser) - It is a mystery that has vexed the art world for centuries: Is Mona Lisa's famous smile happy? The answer is overwhelmingly "yes," according to a new study. German researchers report that nearly everyone shown altered images of Leonardo da Vinci's famous brunette perceived the original...

It's Raining So Much in Paris the Louvre Is Closed

Rising waters in France, Germany, and Belgium have already led to at least 6 deaths

(Newser) - The Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay closed their doors to the public Thursday as the Seine crept up past its normal water levels, prompting fears of flooding and peril to famous works in both Paris art institutions, the Independent reports. Local cops say that flood warnings for areas along...

Da Vinci May Have Used Male Model for Mona Lisa

Androgyny a "longtime fascination" for painter, says art detective

(Newser) - The Mona Lisa is two-faced. At least that's what a self-proclaimed Italian art detective says. Silvani Vinceti says his research shows that Leonardo da Vinci used two models—one female and one male—to create the famous 16th-century portrait that hangs at the Louvre, the Guardian reports. "I...

Behind Mona Lisa's Smile: Another Woman?

Pascal Cotte used reflective light technology to analyze the paint layers

(Newser) - Will the real Mona Lisa please stand up—or at least send us a signal from within the paint layers? The art world is buzzing over a French scientist's claims that he discovered a portrait of another woman lurking beneath the top layer of the world's most famous...

Italy Fumes Over Rifle Ad With Statue of David

ArmaLite sparks row over ad for $3K rifle

(Newser) - Italians are a wee bit upset about an ArmaLite ad that shows a massive $3,000 rifle cradled in the arms of Michelangelo's David, the BBC reports. "The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law," tweeted culture minister Dario Franceschini. He vowed to take action...

DNA Tests Begin in Quest for the Real Mona Lisa

Bones unearthed in Florence could belong to painting's model

(Newser) - A three-year quest that has put researchers on a path toward what they hope is the "real" face of the Mona Lisa winds closer to its conclusion: Silvano Vinceti says DNA tests have begun on a skeleton his team unearthed in July 2012 in Florence , in an effort to...

Next in Mona Lisa Drama: Digging Up the Family Tomb

Lisa Gherardini's sons could provide a DNA match

(Newser) - Digging up the Mona Lisa was just the beginning, apparently. Now it's time to open her family's tomb for DNA samples of her two sons, NBC News reports. Last year, researchers exhumed several bodies in Florence, Italy, hoping one belonged to Lisa Gherardini—the likely model for Leonardo...

Meet 'Mini Lisa,' Thinner Than a Human Hair

Georgia Tech creates tiny copy with nanotechnology

(Newser) - Leonardo da Vinci used oil-based paint to create his Mona Lisa. The folks at Georgia Tech used ThermoChemical NanoLithography to create their version, dubbed the "Mini Lisa," reports the Christian Science Monitor . The result? An almost indescribably small gray-scale copy. Think one third the width of a human...

Mona Lisa Sent to Outer Space via Laser

Feat represents a major advancement in laser communication

(Newser) - Outer space just got a little more cultured. NASA scientists have successfully beamed an image of the Mona Lisa to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using a special laser signal, a feat that represents a major leap in laser communication technology, reports. "This is the first time anyone...

Next Step in Mona Lisa Quest: DNA Testing

Reconstruction of Lisa Gheradini's face may give clues about famed painting

(Newser) - Art history fans have a good reason to crack a smile: We're getting closer to determining whether Lisa Gherardini did indeed serve as the model for Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa, reports CNN . Researchers in Italy have been sorting through a set of exhumed bones —currently...

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