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- Jul 19, 2004
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There have been debates for a long time over the odd appearance of the orb appearing in Salvator Mundi. By using computer rendering techniques to simulate a variety of possible orb configurations scientists now believe they can explain what sort of object it really represents.
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/comput...istory-s-weirdest-da-vinci-painting-mysteriesScientists Have Solved One of History's Weirdest Leonardo da Vinci Mysteries
Scientists may have solved one of the great Leonardo da Vinci painting mysteries – why the glass orb in the Salvator Mundi painting (dated to around 1500 CE) shows no signs of the refraction and reflection of light that might be expected.
The answer, according to computer models run by a team from the University of California, Irvine, is that in the painting Jesus is holding a hollow rather than a solid orb, which would have appeared the way that da Vinci depicted it.
This idea of a hollow orb has been mooted before by art historians, alongside alternative hypotheses involving rock crystal, but now an advanced 3D rendering has shown that da Vinci's daubing accurately represents a hollow glass object.
"Our experiments show that an optically accurate rendering qualitatively matching that of the painting is indeed possible using materials, light sources, and scientific knowledge available to Leonardo da Vinci circa 1500" ...
The robes of Christ shown behind the orb in Salvator Mundi (Latin for "saviour of the world") aren't distorted or magnified, while there are also three white spots painted on the surface. Some historians have suggested that da Vinci deliberately painted the orb in an unrealistic way.
However, using a computer graphics technique known as inverse rendering – where three-dimensional details of a scene are extrapolated from a two-dimensional image – the scientists were able to recreate what da Vinci painted hundreds of years ago.
Based on the team's calculations, the orb had a radius of 6.8 centimetres (2.7 inches) and was 25 centimetres (9.8 inches) in front of the subject of the painting. The orb couldn't be more than 1.3 millimetres (0.05 inches) thick, the analysis suggests. ...