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TechnologyA hidden da Vinci lurks beneath 'The Virgin of the Rocks'

17:35  03 september  2019
17:35  03 september  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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Take Leonardo da Vinci ’s the Virgin of the Rocks , in which the infant Jesus finds himself in a shadowy cave on an Alpine playdate with a baby Hiding in plain sight in both paintings is a small and previously overlooked detail that, once spotted, transforms the scene into something more complex

Take Leonardo da Vinci 's the Virgin of the Rocks , in which the infant Jesus finds himself in a shadowy cave on an Alpine playdate with a baby Hiding in plain sight in both paintings is a small and previously overlooked detail that, once spotted, transforms the scene into something more complex

Researchers at the National Gallery of London have used cutting-edge techniques to reveal a hidden drawing beneath Leonardo da Vinci's The Virgin of the Rocks. It shows that the great artist and his assistants, after laying out the original design, elected to take the biblical-themed painting in a completely different direction, to say the least.

A hidden da Vinci lurks beneath 'The Virgin of the Rocks'

First, know that there are two versions of The Virgin of the Rocks, one hanging in the Louvre and one in the National Gallery of London. It's thought that da Vinci first created the Louvre version by himself for a commission, but then sold it privately. Sometime later, he (and possibly his assistants) created a second copy, based on the first, in order to fulfill the original commission. That's the version hanging in the National Gallery.

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A 500-year-old Da Vinci masterwork was revealed to have an earlier version of the final product sketched beneath the paint. Advanced technology has detected the sketch of a Da Vinci masterpiece hidden beneath the finished product as well as the artist's own handprints.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Italian: [leoˈnardo di ˌsɛr ˈpjɛːro da (v)ˈvintʃi] (listen); 14/15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519), more commonly Leonardo da Vinci (English: /ˌliːəˈnɑːrdoʊ də ˈvɪntʃi, ˌliːoʊˈ

(By the way, to see why da Vinci might have set this typical Christian scene in such an unorthodox location, read this BBC essay. It provides further confirmation of how far ahead of his time he was, scientifically speaking.)

Using infrared techniques, National Gallery researchers discovered the draft of a different drawing beneath the visible paint in 2005. To see if there was more to it, another team re-scanned the painting using cutting-edge macro x-ray fluorescence techniques more recently. Thanks to the presence of zinc in the original drawing material, it revealed much more detail from the original composition.

A hidden da Vinci lurks beneath 'The Virgin of the Rocks'© Provided by Oath Inc. da Vinci The Virgin of the Rocks underpainting

The first draft was significantly different from the final painting, with the figures positioned higher and looking in different directions. The angel at right is looking down on the baby Christ and holding him more tightly, while the Virgin is looking toward the angel and Christ, rather than at the John the Baptist baby figure at left.

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Leonardo da Vinci 's " The Virgin of the Rocks " painting been under study since 2005. Improved X-ray technology has now highlighted the hidden angels. Originally made as a commission for a church, the Gallery owns the second version of the painting da Vinci made, likely as a replacement for the

Everyone agrees it is a masterpiece. But who painted The Virgin of the Rocks – Leonardo or his students? Jonathan Jones joins the National Gallery on an epic quest to find out.

It's not clear why da Vinci abandoned the original, arguably more dynamic composition. In any case, the under-drawing shows typical da Vinci "elaborations and adjustments" used when he transitioned from drawing to painting, according to curators. "For instance, the angle of the Infant Christ's head was changed so that he was seen in profile, while some parts of the angel's curly hair have been removed," the gallery wrote in a press release.

The research will form the basis of a new National Gallery exhibition entitled Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece kicking off on November 9th, 2019. Visitors will see how the painting might have looked in the original chapel setting, while exploring the new drawings and seeing how experts uncovered them. We might never know what the great man was thinking, but we will get to enjoy what is essentially a completely new Leonardi da Vinci work.

The National Gallery
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HTC recreated the 'Mona Lisa' in 3D for the Louvre's da Vinci exhibition .
HTC created Vive Arts back in 2017 to bring museums and the public together in VR, but you may not have thought about it since then. It's definitely grabbed our attention now, though, with its latest, very high-profile experience, Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass. It launches at the Louvre on October 24th in conjunction with Leonardo Da Vinci, the largest exhibition of the great master's works ever assembled. The idea behind the experience created by the Paris VR studio Emissive is to teach you more about the painting and history around the Mona Lisa, so you can better appreciate it in person.

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