Numerous songs have been written and sung concerning the hidden secrets of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous 16th century painting, the Mona Lisa.
A series of numbers and letters hidden within those famous eyes have been discovered by Luigi Borgia, a colleague of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage in Italy, in an ancient dusty book on the painting.
The historian firmly believes he has uncovered LV (possibly standing for the painter's initials) in one eye and in the other they're still accessing whether or not the figures are C and E, B and S, the number 72, or L2.
"We are only at the start of this investigation and we hope to be able to dig deeper into this mystery and reveal further details as soon as possible. It's remarkable that no-one has noticed these symbols before and from the preliminary investigations we have carried out we are confident they are not a mistake and were put there by the artist" added Borgiam, when discussing how the Mona Lisa's eyes contain numerous symbols and signs, as described in the 50 year old volume.
Da Vinci's masterpiece has long been considered to be a painting of Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a highly successful silk and fabric merchant in Florence, but with these letters and possible numbers (that don't seem to add up to LG), that long held principle may be placed in doubt.
Still the detection of the figures, while thrilling and enticing to speculate about, have to reveal exactly what they are. They could be old fashioned and worthless, or they could disclose the secret to the real identity of the Mona Lisa.
In 2009 Luis Martinez Otero, a neuroscientist at Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante, Spain, declared that Mona Lisa's smile no longer retained any hidden mysteries. He claimed that when you look at the famous portrait your eyes send scrambled signals to the brain, causing you to think the model is smiling one moment, but deadly serious the next.
Channels encode data regarding an object's size, clarity, brightness and location in the visual field. Different cells in the retina pass on different categories of data or “channels" to the brain.
Otero, who conducted the study along with Diego Alonso Pablos says “Sometimes one channel wins over the other, and you see the smile, sometimes others take over and you don't see the smile".
In 2005, a United States team recommended that random noise in the path from retina to visual cortex distinguishes whether or not we see a smile.
With a side interest in art history, Margaret Livingstone, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, illustrated in 2000, that Mona Lisa's smile is more readily seen in peripheral vision, rather than when looking directly at the painting with fovea vision, (the sharp central vision).
Many experts say the right side of the mouth seems to be that of a smile, while the left side of the mouth holds a solemn expression. Did Leonardo deliberately set out to sow so much confusion in the brains of viewers, not to mention scientists? ‘Absolutely', contends one of the experts.