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Was the Mona Lisa more cheerful?

Was the Mona Lisa more cheerful?A French engineer has used high-tech scans to show how the face of Da Vinci’s most famous painting may have looked before the artist changed his mind and when the picture was still fresh.

The Mona Lisa is now is famous for her mysterious smile. The main colours seem to be browns and greens, which add to the unearthly atmosphere of the painting.

After spending 3,000 hours studying the results of infrared and ultraviolet scans, French engineer Pascal Cotte has some new ideas about what the picture would have looked like while it was being painted and when it was first finished.

Cotte’s scans see through the top layers of paint to reveal the first drafts of the painting. He believes that Da Vinci originally made the Mona Lisa a bit more cheerful. She had a bigger smile and her face was more expressive. She also had eyebrows and eyelashes, which may have been rubbed off by an over keen cleaner.

The whole picture would have also looked less murky when it was first painted. Leonardo’s model would have been a healthy pink and the sky in the background was very blue, rather than dark green/grey. These changes in colour are the result of 500 years aging, as some pigments fade quicker than others.

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