General, Research, Technology

What is the secret of the most expensive painting in the world?

Throughout the history of mankind, artists have paintedmany great pictures. The most famous of these is perhaps the Mona Lisa by artist Leonardo da Vinci. But the most expensive painting of the Italian art worker is considered "Savior of the World", which in 2017 was sold for 400 million dollars. The painting, which depicts Jesus Christ with a transparent ball, was commissioned in ancient times by the French king Louis XII. And this image has one interesting feature - the glass ball does not reflect light, which is regarded by many as a very gross mistake of the artist. However, recently, scientists from the American state of California have found that the great artist was not wrong about anything. The technology of computer modeling helped them prove this.

Painting "Savior of the World"

The most expensive painting in the world

The Savior of the World is also known asSalvator Mundi. On it, Jesus Christ holds a transparent ball that personifies the universe. If you look closely, you will notice that the ball does not distort the space behind it at all. But if the object is transparent and has a rounded shape, the clothes should be distorted, and light reflections should appear on the surface of the material. Some people think Leonardo da Vinci made a grave mistake. But the artist has always been attentive to details, so scientists believe that there can be no question of any mistake.

Did Leonardo da Vinci make a mistake?

Researchers from the American state of Californiasuggested that the picture does not feature a monolithic, but a hollow ball. If it were a single piece of glass, then Jesus' clothes would indeed be distorted, because the object would have the properties of a lens. But if there is nothing inside the ball, there is nothing strange in the absence of distortion. The painting was painted at the end of the 15th century, and at that time Leonardo da Vinci already knew well that a hollow glass sphere should not distort space.

See also: Can Scientists Recreate the Smells of Ancient Times?

Artist's mistake

To prove there is no mistake, scientistsrecreated the ball on the computer. They used a reverse rendering technology, where a 3D object is created from a 2D image. On the basis of the created composition, the researchers came to the conclusion that the objects behind the sphere would not be distorted only if it was hollow. According to their calculations, the picture shows a ball with a diameter of 6.8 centimeters, which is held at a distance of 25 centimeters from the body. In this case, the wall thickness is 1.3 millimeters.

Image A shows how the painting should look. And in image B - how it is drawn

Revealing the mystery of the painting "Savior of the World" - verysignificant event. The fact is that in November 2017 it was sold at Christie’s auction for $ 450 million. At the current exchange rate, this is almost 33 billion rubles. The painting is considered the most expensive work of the world in history. In June 2019, it became known that the painting was kept on the yacht of one of the princes of Saudi Arabia. It will remain there until a cultural center is built, where the painting will become one of the exhibits.

If you are interested in the news of science and technology, subscribe to our Telegram channel. There you will find announcements of the latest news from our site!

The most interesting paintings

In general, the sale and purchase of paintings is veryinteresting topic. In 2018, the painting "Portrait of Edmond Belamy", which was entirely painted by artificial intelligence, was sold at auction. It went under the hammer for $ 432,500 in the first ever computer-drawn painting sold. The authors of the "computer artist" are French students who have joined the Obvious team. The artificial intelligence they created learned to draw pictures by studying portraits of historical figures. You can read more about this work of art in this article.

"Portrait of Edmond Belamy" written by artificial intelligence

You can also read on the topic of art and sciencean article on how American scientists were able to record the painting of the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" in protein molecules. Thanks to the technology they developed, all of the information from the New York Public Library can be stored inside one teaspoon of protein. The process of storing data inside proteins is very complicated, but in this article I tried to explain everything in simple terms. Enjoy reading!