What mood was the Mona Lisa in?


When Leonardo da Vinci painted the famous Mona Lisa he gave her one of the most interesting of expressions. An enigmatic smile that has beguiled people for centuries. But what lies behind this expression? Frozen in time you wonder what complex set of emotions and thoughts she is experiencing or maybe it’s a little more prosaic and she was just in a “funny mood” !

So can her expression be analysed ? Yes it can! (apparently)

According to research from the University of Amsterdam, the Mona Lisa is :

» 83% happy
» 9% disgusted
» 6% fearful
» 2% angry

That’s the interpretation of Nicu Sebe’s emotion-recognition software which he’s developed in collaboration with US scientists at the University of Illinois. Their algorithm examines key facial features, including the curvature of the lips and wrinkles around the eyes, to assign a score under six different emotional categories. Sebe used a database of ‘neutral’ young female faces against which to compare the expression of the Mona Lisa. Ultimately, the researchers are aiming to develop emotion-recognition systems to enable computers to recognise human moods.

Author: Robert

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