A popular theory among art historians holds that owl-lover Leonardo Da Vinci left secrets in his paintings to be discovered by discerning viewers. For centuries, it had remained just that: a theory. Recently, though, a team from The University of Milan (Go Fighting Typhoids!) has found hard evidence that indeed Da Vinci did leave some hidden treasures in his works, with the most striking data found in his enigmatic Mona Lisa.
After 12 years of study, Principal Investigator Iliana Genovese and her team announced their finding of eight owls hidden on the famous canvas. “When we found the first one we thought, ‘this must be some sort of anomaly caused by centuries of sneezes by Louvre patrons,’ but then we found the second and third owls. We knew we were on to something,” said Genovese.
Their study “Lots Of Owls On Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa” was published in this week’s issue of the Journal Art History. In addition to detailing the positions of the eight nocturnal birds, the article also discusses the possible meaning behind them. Perhaps they hold some religious significance, or perhaps the owls were actually there when Da Vinci was painting the portrait, or perhaps it was an accident. Unfortunately, we may never know the truth.
Anyways…Can YOU find the 8 owls hidden in the Mona Lisa? Try it, and see below for what your score means!
0 owls - Sorry, you are not very good at finding owls :(
1 -2 owls - Not great, but remember you’ve done better than centuries of art historians!
3-5 owls - You’ve found about half of the owls in the Mona Lisa. Not bad!
6-7 owls - So close to all of the owls! Which ones did you miss? Did you check the top of her head?
8 owls - Hooray! You found all the owls! Take a well-deserved nap.
9 owls - NO THERE WERE ONLY 8! YOU ARE A LYING FIEND!