Friday 21 August 2015

Illusory Portrait

Two psychologists at Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sunderland have reported finding a gaze-dependent illusory effect in Leonardo da Vinci's La Bella Principessa. They think she smiles when they look away from her mouth. The eyes can play strange tricks when you gaze at something for too long. As psychologists, they should know this. La Bella Principessa is thought to be a portrait of 13-year-old Bianca Sforza, the daughter of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, who was soon to be married to a commander of the Duke’s Milanese army. She died within months of the wedding, possibly due to an ectopic pregnancy (CLICK).


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