New technology reveals secret behind Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece


A French scientist has revealed a new discovery about Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Lady With an Ermine’ using a new technique.

French scientist Pascal Cotte spent three years using reflective light technology to examine ‘The Lady with an Ermine’, one of the most famous paintings of the leading Italian artist during the Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci.

‘The Lady With an Ermine’ – Leonardo Da Vinci (photo: Art Observed)

Using the new reflective-light technique called Layer Amplification Method (LAM), he opened a new chapter of the painting’s history.

Cotte, who is a co-founder of Lumiere Technology in Paris, said: “The LAM technique gives us the capability to peel the painting like an onion, removing the surface to see what’s happening inside and behind the different layers of paint,” BBC News reports.

“We’ve discovered that Leonardo is always changing his mind. This is someone who hesitates – he erases things, he adds things, he changes his mind again and again.”

Leonardo Da Vinci self-portrait (photo: Amerika Ihirujsag

The technique consists of projecting a series of intense lights onto the painting while a camera measures the reflections. The resulting measurements allowed Cotte to analyse what was painted between the layers of the work.

The discovery has raised new theories and questions suggesting that the artist actually painted a previous and different version which did not include the ermine as it was always thought.

Da Vinci’s masterpiece, which is believed to have been painted between 1490 and 1498, depicts Ceclia Gallerani, a woman from the Milanese court in Italy and mistress to the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza.

The original versions of the 500-year-old painting looked different from today as the first portrait didn’t include the ermine and the other two showed some changes of the lady’s dress.

Thanks to the remarkable discovery by Cotte, the famous painting has to be reread. The leading painter, inventor and sculptor of the Renaissance in Italy, a genius and creator of ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Mona Lisa’, painted ‘The Lady With an Ermine’ three times instead of once.