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What lies beneath


Today we learned some of the tricks that art science detectives use to detect a fraud.

When these scientists study at a painting they don't just look at it, they look through it!

How? By shining "lights" of different wavelengths on the painting, they can see what's hidden beneath the surface. Infrared and ultraviolet radiation, together with pigment chemical analysis, can provide a lot of clues on when and how a painting was made.

Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci reworked his painting, "The Lady with an Ermine", twice before finishing it?

He changed the position of the lady's forearm and added an ermine to the third version of his work. This was revealed by a technique called Layer Amplification Method that shows what's inside and behind the different layers of paint.


Using infrared reflectography, scientists uncovered a comical self-portrait of Caravaggio submersed in Bacchus' wine in his painting "Bacchus".


With high-intensity x-rays from a particle accelerator, art detectives also uncovered a color portrait of a woman's face made by van Gogh before covering it for his painting ''Patch of Grass'.'


Our very own art science detectives will use these techniques to solve the museum mystery! Stay tuned!


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Williamsburg, Brooklyn  

1.5 blocks from Bedford station

on the L train 

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