Study: Mona Lisa neither man nor da Vinci

March 7, 2006
Mona Lisa

A University of Illinois scientist says Mona Lisa probably wasn't a man, and it's even more unlikely it was a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci.

UI researchers last year used facial-recognition software to analyze the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile. They concluded the model was happy, with touches of disgust, fear and anger, at least as Leonardo da Vinci painted her, the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette reported Tuesday.

Now Professor Thomas Huang has analyzed the painting to determine its subject's likely gender and compared it with a self-portrait of da Vinci.

Huang says facial-recognition software he and his students developed indicate a 60-40 probability the painting is of a female. And Huang says even if it is a man, it doesn't match well with Leonardo's sketch of himself.

"Of course, nothing proves anything," said Huang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. "At least it indicates these conjectures may not be right."

The portrait, which da Vinci is believed to have completed in 1507, is formally entitled "Mona Lisa del Gioconda."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Parasitized bees are self-medicating in the wild, study finds

September 1, 2015

Bumblebees infected with a common intestinal parasite are drawn to flowers whose nectar and pollen have a medicinal effect, a Dartmouth-led study shows. The findings suggest that plant chemistry could help combat the decline ...

How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit

September 1, 2015

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists.

ATLAS and CMS experiments shed light on Higgs properties

September 1, 2015

Three years after the announcement of the discovery of a new particle, the so-called Higgs boson, the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations present for the first time combined measurements of many of its properties, at the third annual ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.