leonardo da vinci masterpiece :: geniuses second-guess themselves

Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with the Ermine), about 1488
Lady with an Ermine, Leonardo Da Vinci

 |  By Jacqueline Howard | Posted: 10/02/2014}

Leonardo da Vinci may have been a genius, but that doesn’t mean he never second-guessed himself.

In a new book, optical engineer Pascal Cotte explains how a new imaging technology known as the layer amplification method (LAM) helped show that Leonardo painted two previous versions of his “Lady with an Ermine” masterpiece before settling on the version that we know today. One version of the 15th Century artwork didn’t even include the ermine at all.

“We’ve discovered that Leonardo is always changing his mind,” Cotte, CTO of the Lumiere Technology company in Paris, told BBC News. “This is someone who hesitates — he erases things, he adds things, he changes his mind again and again… 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.”

{featured image:The three phases of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine” painting. Leonardo first painted the portrait without the ermine, and later added in two different versions of the animal. Credit: © Pascal Cotte}

keep reading … {see the video: “Da Vinci: Ermine’s Secrets Revealed”}

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