Michelangelo's Secret Drawings Are Underneath The Medici Chapel
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You may have heard of a certain artist named Michelangelo, arguably one the most famous artists of all time, whose work is some of the most recognized. (How many pop culture references to "The Creation Of Adam" have you seen in your life?) But you may not have heard of his secret stash of drawings, which researchers found hundreds of years after his death. The drawings are on the walls of a small, cell-like room beneath the Medici Chapel of the Basilica di San Lorenzo chapel in Florence. And here's where the story takes a turn for the even more interesting: He was holed up there for months while the Medici family wanted him dead.
The Mysterious Smudge On Edvard Munch's "The Scream" Is Actually Candle Wax
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Though it's one of the most well known and widely recognized pieces of art in history, Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream" spent decades shrouded in mystery. Just to the left of the figure in the painting, near its shoulder, is a small white smudge of a mysterious substance. For years, it was rumored that this splatter was bird poop (Munch was known to paint outdoors and store his paintings outside). In August 2016, scientists at the University of Antwerp in Belgium analyzed the mysterious mark on the 1890 painting and determined that it is actually candle wax. The smudged painting is the first of four versions Munch painted of this scene. The researchers used a system they developed called a Macro-X-ray fluorescence scanner in order to analyze the splatter. This non-invasive technology has been used to solve other art mysteries in the works of artists Jan Van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, and Vincent van Gogh. Learn about the history and inspiration of "The Scream" in the video below.
The Lost Short Animated Film Collaboration Of Walt Disney And Salvador Dali
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Walt Disney and Salvador Dali were arguably two of the most famous and significant artists of the twentieth century. One could argue that the two sat on opposite sides of the spectrum: Disney created family-friendly animated cartoons, and Dali painted often disturbing surreal, fantastical images. But in the 1940s, the two creative powerhouses came together to collaborate on an animated short film, "Destino."Disney and Dali didn't complete the film due to differing ideas on how it should go. But Roy Disney, Walt's nephew, didn't want to see the project die. In 1999, he hired Dali experts and animators to use the remaining sketches and images to complete "Destino," an abstract love story that earned the Walt Disney Company a 2003 Academy Award nomination for best animated short film. Classic animation art conservationist Ron Barbagallo later claimed to have found additional sketches for the film. He put together a 12-minute version, about twice as long as the 2003 short, that was consistent with what he believes was Dali's original vision for the project. Watch the video below to see parts of the short film.
The Laws Of Friction Were Found In "Irrelevant" Da Vinci Scribbles
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In the 1920s, a museum director looked at a page in Leonardo da Vinci's notebook and deemed its contents "irrelevant notes and diagrams in red chalk." But when revisited in 2016, a professor found that these scribbles actually contained groundbreaking findings: the first written records demonstrating the laws of friction. The discovery was made and published in April 2016 by Ian Hutchings, a professor at the University of Cambridge. It's long been known that da Vinci was responsible for conducting the first study of friction, but it was unclear how and when he actually came up with it. Hutchings examined one specific page from da Vinci's 1493 notebook and interpreted the rough geometrical figures drawn on it as a demonstration of the laws of friction. The drawings showed rows of blocks being pulled by a weight that was hanging over a pulley. Watch the video below for more on this unexpected finding.
Van Gogh's "The Bedroom" Paintings Originally Had Purple Walls
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Vincent van Gogh's 1888 painting "Bedroom in Arles" is one of the artist's most recognized works, and one of the most well-known pieces of art in the world. Certain features of the painting are just as iconic as the painting itself, including its blue walls and seafoam green floors. However, these were not the work's original colors. In an 1888 letter to his brother Theo, Vincent described his room as having walls of "pale violet" and a floor of "red tiles." The pale violet walls, today, look to be blue, and the originally red floor looks more like green and brown. Researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago unearthed these findings while combing through letters from the artist and, according to Public Radio International, by analyzing the painting using a "gun-like instrument that emits x-rays."