Technology Sheds Light on 6 Great Art Mysteries
Scientists are using advanced techniques to look at history's masterpieces.
Whether a Picasso or Da Vinci, every canvas holds brushstrokes that might conceal something else: a secondary painting, perhaps, or a mystery waiting to be untangled by John Delaney, the museum's senior imaging scientist.
On a typical day, he patiently places a painting in front of a specialized camera and completes a scan, which will reveal not just what's under the paint, but also what is happening at each layer of paint that lies under the surface.
Delaney is part of a community of scientists, curators, and art historians who have assembled a toolbox of high-precision x-rays, lasers, microscopes, and software to unveil some of art's greatest mysteries. These technologies have helped unlock groundbreaking information about both art and artist alike.