Scientists try save only existing self-portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci

 

Kunal Dutta
Tuesday 03 June 2014 21:20
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The Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait, which scientists believe is gradually vanishing as the red-chalk image fades
The Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait, which scientists believe is gradually vanishing as the red-chalk image fades

Scientists are close to deciding how to restore a fading chalk sketch believed to be the only existing self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, following a hi-tech study of the paper.

The portrait, thought to be more than 400 years old, remains locked in a vault in the Royal Library of Turin, Italy, where it is believed to be gradually vanishing as the red-chalk image blends against the ageing yellow paper. Now scientists from Italy and Poland are using sophisticated restoration techniques to measure how much light is reflected and absorbed by the image.

Joanna Lojewska, of Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, said: “This phenomenon is known as ‘yellowing’, which causes severe damage and negatively affects the aesthetic enjoyment of ancient artworks on paper.”

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