Scientists analyzing the chemical structure of a very small part of Italian inventor, architect, and painter Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting under X-ray light have revealed that the recipe for the oil paint used by the artist as the base layer on the poplar panel is different.
The team of researchers from France and the United Kingdom (UK) analyzed a small section of the painting in the upper right-hand corner, the diameter of a human hair.
The team found the chemical substance "plumbonacrite", a rare compound in the first paint layer of the Mona Lisa painting.
If plumbonacrite, a by-product of lead oxide, is mixed with oil paint, a thick layer appears on the canvas.
Victor Gonzalez, the lead author of the study, stated that the hypothesis that "the painter may have used 'lead oxide powder' to thicken his paint and help it dry when he started working on the portrait", which art historians had previously suggested, was confirmed for the first time.
Stating that Da Vinci may have been in an "experimental mood" when he started working on the "Mona Lisa", Gonzalez said that the world-famous painter loved to experiment.
Stating that each of the famous painter's paintings is completely different in terms of technique, Gonzalez commented that it is interesting to see that there is indeed a special technique for the ground layer of the Mona Lisa.
Gonzales, who had previously found "plumbonacrite" in paintings by the Dutch painter Rembrandt, who lived in the 17th century after Leonardo Da Vinci, emphasized that this also showed that recipes had been passed down through the centuries.
Carmen Bambach, an expert on Italian art and curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, described the research as "very exciting".
Bambach said the new scientifically proven findings on Leonardo Da Vinci's painting techniques were extremely important.
Stating that the discovery of "plumbonacrite" in the Mona Lisa painting is proof of Leonardo's passion as a painter and his constant experimentation, Bambach stated that this passion and constant experimentation made the legendary master of the Renaissance period "timeless and modern".
Famous painter Leonardo Da Vinci's famous Renaissance painting "Mona Lisa", which was painted between 1503-1507 and is said to depict Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo, is still on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Source: Anadolu Agency