A new exhibition titled "Mona Lisa Secrets Revealed" is currently on display at the Metreon in San Francisco and features new research by French engineer Pascal Cotte. Using a Multi-spectral Imaging Camera of his own invention, Cotte scanned the painting, electronically peeling away centuries of varnish and other alterations. With a scan of up to 150,000 dots per inch, he was able to learn that:
Da Vinci first painted a landscape and then used transparency techniques to paint the veil atop it.
The blanket which covers the subject's knees also covers her stomach.
Her left finger was never completely finished.
A blotch mark on the corner of the eye and chin are varnish accidents, contrary to claims that the subject was ill.
The work was painted on uncut poplar board.
The Mona Lisa once had eyebrows and lashes.
Two years ago scientists at the National Research Council of Canada used similar infrared and 3D technology in the Louvre museum in Paris and first discovered that the Mona Lisa’s dress was covered in a thin transparent gauze veil. This type of dress was typical of the kind worn in early 16th century Italy by women who were pregnant and had just given birth.