Still the enigma

Was Mona Lisa's Enigmatic Smile Caused by a Thyroid Condition?

Doctor theorizes that the sitter's lank hair, weak smile and yellowing skin point to post-pregnancy hypothyroidism

A few pages from the recently digitized codex.

See Leonardo da Vinci's Genius Yourself in These Newly Digitized Sketches

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has made ultra high-resolution scans of two codices available online

Last November, "Salvator Mundi" sold for $450 million, becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold privately or at auction

Historian Asserts That Leonardo’s Assistant Painted Majority of 'Salvator Mundi'

The Oxford research fellow names Bernardino Luini as main artist, believes da Vinci only painted between five to 20 percent of the painting

Gentile de Fabriano’s gold-encrusted 1423 “Adoration of the Magi” altarpiece features Arabic script on the Virgin Mary’s and Saint Joseph’s haloes

Two Florence Museums Are Tracing the City's 500-Year Connection to Islamic Art

The Uffizi explores East-West interactions between the 15th and 17th centuries; the Bargello features donations from 19th- and 20th-century collectors

Archangel Gabriel

Is This Painted Tile Da Vinci’s Earliest Known Work?

Two Italian scholars believe the tile was painted by the Renaissance master in 1471, but other experts are not convinced

Theories on the painting's fate include destruction by fire, earthquake, and gnawing rats in an abandoned barn

New Clues Emerge in Search for Stolen Caravaggio

The nativity scene taken from Sicilian chapel in 1969 may have ended up in Switzerland

"The Night," Michele di Rodolfo del Ghirlandaio, oil on panel, Galleria Colonna, Rome, Italy

Earliest Images of Breast Cancer Found in Renaissance Paintings

The signs of illness in the paintings illustrate that breast cancer is not just a modern malady

A tessera or a Roman six-sided die from the Vidy Roman Museum

How Centuries-Old Dice Reveal Changing Attitudes About Fate

Dice made in Roman times were lopsided and irregular, but they became more consistent during the Renaissance

Frederick II was the first "modern" ornithologist, studying birds in detail in the 13th century to fuel his passion for falconry.

The Modern History of Ornithology Starts With This Inquisitive Medieval Emperor

Frederick II got up to a lot in his lifetime

Anna Morandi Manzolini (1714-1774), Italian anatomist and sculptor, from a drawing by Cesare Bettini.

The Lady Anatomist Who Brought Dead Bodies to Light

Anna Morandi was the brains and the skilled hand of an unusual husband-wife partnership

John Dee was an accomplished mathematician, but he also said he owned a stone (in his right hand) that was given to him by angels. In Elizabethan England, that wasn't all that odd.

John Dee’s Life Shows Science’s Magical Roots

His life shows a time when science and magic intersected–even for scientists

Experts say that Raphael painted an allegorical figure of Justice on the far right of this elaborate fresco, which depicts the battle between Constantine and his rival, Maxentius.

Unknown Raphael Paintings Discovered in the Vatican

Restoration work in the Hall of Constantine uncovered two allegorical figures that Raphael appears to have painted before his untimely death in 1520

The doge's barge, called the Bucentaur, returning to Venice after the "wedding" ceremony. This painting is by eighteenth-century Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto.

Venice Has Been Married to the Sea for Over a Thousand Years

Happy anniversary, you crazy kids

Five-Year Photo Project Captures the Sistine Chapel in High-Res Detail

Released in a new set of books, the 1:1 photos will be used by restorers to restore and assess damage to Michaelangelo's masterpieces

A Silk Road Wine Trail Karas Monument at the entrance of Rind Village in Vayots Dzor, Armenia.

Can Ancient Techniques Make Modern Wine Better?

A new generation of wineries are going to painstaking lengths to acquire hundreds of historic clay karases

Although it's possible that Sandro Botticelli threw other works of his on the bonfire, the Birth of Venus thankfully survived.

A Fanatical Monk Inspired 15th-Century Italians to Burn Their Clothes, Makeup and Art

He told Florentines the apocalypse was coming, and to save themselves through self-censorship

Tycho Brahe was extremely wealthy and lived an unusual life that included a pet moose.

Astronomer and Alchemist Tycho Brahe Died Full of Gold

The shiny element was important to Renaissance scientists. Very important

The newly restored "St. John the Baptist," by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Louvre Has Restored "St. John the Baptist"

To clean, or not to clean?

Major Renaissance Painting Restored 50 Years After It Was Covered in Flood Waters

Giorgio Vasari's "Last Supper" was heavily damaged during Florence's 1966 flood. Conservationists finally figured out how to save it

Chalk portrait of Caravaggio
Ottavio Leoni, circa 1621

Happy 445th Birthday, Caravaggio

The artist’s gory paintings have captivated art lovers for centuries

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