The mystery of Mona Lisa

The world is full of the things that can’t be explained and such things always play on our curious nature. In other words – we all adore riddles!

I have recently come across the information that one of the greatest mysteries of all ages is finally solved. This is quite sad and joyful at the same time. The mystery I’m talking about is Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. To be exact – her smile.

For many years we all could not understand how this woman painted on the picture can smile and be sad at the same time. We used to look at the reproductions or the original for hours but the solution was never found.

The information about the solved mystery comes from Professor Livingston from AAAS. Her main interest is in the way a human eye and perception organs function from the point of view of psychology. In simpler words she studies the psychology of perception.

According to prof. Livingston the mystery of the changing smile in the picture is explained by the peculiarities of the human visual perception properties. What comes into our focal vision is seen very clearly with all the colors and details. What comes into our ambient vision is dark and obscure. When people look at someone’s face they first focus on the eyes of a person. Focusing on the eyes of Gioconda, her lips take place right in the ambient vision of any average human, and as we see everything obscurely there, we get the impression that she is smiling, that her lips are curved. When we focus on the lips we, respectively, see the lips in the focal vision, we see them in details and the smile…disappears.

The mystery is this simple. No magic, no riddle. All that plays an important role is our vision) Seems that it was not Leonardo who invented a mystery, but we ourselves!

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