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How Vaisala technology helps protect the worlds most famous painting
I don’t know whether you’ve heard of the painting ‘Mona Lisa’ but it is kind of a big deal.
The Mona Lisa is a portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. The painting is thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, an Italian noblewoman and member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany. Her name was given to the Mona Lisa, after her portrait was commissioned by her husband Francesco del Giocondo during the Italian Renaissance.
The worlds most famous painting was created using oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. It had been believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506; however, Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It has been described as “the best known, most visited, most written about, most sung about and most parodied work of art in the world”.
And not only that, but the Mona Lisa is also one of the most expensive paintings in the world. It is the Guinness World Record holder for the highest insurance valuation in history at $100 million in 1962, which with inflation was worth nearly $800 million in 2017 (£572.49 million). To put that into context, you could purchase 2623 houses in the UK based on average house prices. You could even purchase around 854,462 Vaisala DL-2000 temperature and humidity data loggers from Withnell Sensors (at a great price!).
So with all that in mind, you can imagine how critically important it is to preserve the painting.
The reason a temperature and humidity specialist company are talking to you about the most famous painting in the world is because one of our amazing suppliers- Vaisala, does in fact help preserve the Mona Lisa by measuring the stability of the humidity and temperature environment within its state-of-the-art glass vitrine. Two Vaisala HMT333 Humidity and Temperature Transmitters are hidden and operational year round behind the painting inside the vitrine , with one postioned near Lisa’s right hand and the other near her right eye. The relative humidity is constantly maintained at 50%RH and the temperature at 21°C.
Annualy, the vitrine is opened to remove and check the monitoring equipment and installed devices to ensure the Mona Lisa is being cared for sufficiently. The vitrine is then resupplied with the monitoring equipment and re-sealed with the Mona Lisa safely tucked inside her vitrine for another year- keeping her look as flawless as ever.
Take a look at the full article and explanation from Vaisala here.