Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

A Virtual Version of da Vinci's Mystery Glass Orb Has Helped Explain Its Weirdness


View as: Print Mobile App Share: Send by email Share on reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Hacker News Share on Tweeter Share on Facebook
Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

Researchers at the University of California used computer graphics software to conclude that the orb held by Jesus in Leonardo da Vinci's oil painting Salvator Mundi is a hollow sphere.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have used computer graphics software to reproduce Leonardo da Vinci's oil painting Salvator Mundi in order to study how light would be refracted through different kinds of glass orbs.

In the original painting, Jesus is holding a glass orb representing the celestial sphere of the heavens. Such a sphere ought to act as a convex lens, magnifying and inverting the robes behind it, but the robes in the painting appear with minimal distortion.

Said researcher Marco Liang, "With the virtual scene ready, we tested whether the orb was solid by comparing renderings of a solid and a hollow orb."

The researchers concluded that the orb is not solid, but instead a hollow sphere with a radius of 6.8 centimeters and a thickness of just 1.3 millimeters.


From MIT Technology Review (01/02/20)
View Full Article

 

Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

No entries found